Red Bull chief Newey accused of dishonesty to get one up on rivals

Red Bull designer Newey admits 2023 looks 'tough' amid testing restrictions

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Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey has been accused by former F1 star Pedro de la Rosa of trying to fool his rivals regarding what they should be focusing on to get the best out of the ground-effect design regulations. Newey and co have put together a formidable car this year, much like they did last year as Mercedes and Ferrari were left in the dust.

Since design regulations shifted at the start of last season, Red Bull have established themselves as the dominant force in F1. Max Verstappen stormed to the Drivers’ Championship in 2022 and the team as a whole finished more than 200 points clear of their nearest competitors. 

The gap may have become even wider this season as Verstappen and Sergio Perez were regularly lapping at least one second quicker than their competitors at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on Sunday. 

Perez took top spot and Verstappen fought from 15th on the grid to take second and complete Red Bull’s second one-two of the season, having finished in reverse order in Bahrain two weeks prior.

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After the race, Aston Martin ambassador De la Rosa was asked for his interpretation of Newey’s public view, which states that the team is focused even more on suspension than they are on aerodynamics for this season’s ground-effect F1 car.

“That tells me nothing, you know. Adrian has always said, with the ground-effect cars, to not only focus on the aerodynamics but also the suspension,” he told the F1 Nation podcast.

“However, when any technical director with Adrian’s knowledge tells you to focus on the suspension, you need to focus on the aerodynamics [instead] because they’re obviously trying to divert the attention. Their car is very good full stop, but what can we do? We have to keep working and developing to make sure they don’t disappear in the distance.”

Fans and pundits alike are already willing Red Bull’s competitors to catch up, with Martin Brundle admitting that he was ‘energised’ by seeing Verstappen start 15th after a troubled qualifying in Jeddah. De la Rosa concurred, claiming that he finds the gap between Red Bull and the rest ‘worrying’.

“I find it interesting how much more competitive Red Bull are,” he added. “This is not good. The gap today was huge. When everyone was struggling to make the tyres work, Red Bull were fighting each other.

“It was impressive but also worrying. I can’t see any weak point because they are really good on tyre management as well. They have done a super job.”

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