With ten championship winning cars behind his back, Red Bull's Adrian Newey is probably the biggest brain in the F1 paddocks when it comes to race car engineering. That's why when he talks about the 2014 regulations and their chances with the RB10, we're all ears.
The radiators are huge, there will be breakdowns, the new cars are uglier and they had no time to test. But Newey still liked working on the RB10. Here's the rest:
About the fuel:
At most of the races we anticipate will be fuel capacity limited, so we will have to save fuel during the race. That will mean a different driving style, where you are compromising lap time at certain points to save fuel. The question then is how you use your remaining fuel? Do you go out quick at the start and then save fuel, or save fuel and sprint at the end – all that will come in to play.
About the aerodynamics:
What sounds like quite a small change, a 75mm reduction in the width of the front wing on each side, has had a big aerodynamic effect.
Previously, the front wing end plate allowed us to put the flow off the tip of the wing outside of the front wheel, but now the front wing end is right in front of the wheel – about the worst possible place. It's not inside or outside, so that means the majority of the flow now stagnates in front of the front wheel. A little bit finds its way outside and the rest comes inside, and in doing so makes quite a mess. The front wheel wake becomes much bigger and that causes all sorts of problems downstream as you approach the side pod and diffuser.
About the aesthetics:
You have a lowered nose [lowered to 185mm from 550mm]. What you end up is with almost two noses – one that is the main bulk of the nose to the minimum side view height and then almost a bulb sticking out from that. I think there will be a few ungainly noses, which is a shame. To me the aesthetics of an F1 car are important: They should look good and not many owners of these noses could really love them.
About what was the biggest challenge:
We put a lot into the development of RB9 through June, July and September and inevitably that meant compromises. We only have limited recourses and while we were developing RB9 it meant that work wasn't going into RB10. However, we felt we needed to do that to try to win the championship and then handle the pressure of timescales that resulted from that.
I think time really has been our biggest battle. We haven't had the time we would have liked to do the research on the background before committing to the fundamental hardware of monocoque and gearbox case.
About the first races and the new tires:
The early races could see quite a few upsets in the order. Reliability is naturally the most obvious concern. The power unit is tremendously complicated and while road car manufacturers make some quite complicated hybrid cars, those cars have had the luxury of years of development before they come to market. We've got three tests, around 12 days, and then we're off to the first race. It's a very compressed development schedule and that can bring a lot of problems, so reliability will be an issue.
Equally, everyone will be finding their feet in terms of how to use the engines and how to cope with the fuel limits and the aero changes and how to make those work with the tires. We have harder tires this year to cope with the extra torque of the engines. All those things could make for quite an unpredictable melting pot in the first few races.
Interested in what he thinks about Daniel Ricciardo? Check out below, from 10:37: