Adrian Newey is a man accustomed to success in the F1 arena, but his ambition remains undimmed in spite of that and he insists that he will accept nothing less than another world title before he declares 2011 a good season.

The Briton, whose seven-title haul rivals that of Michael Schumacher - ironically, a driver he has never worked with - has been the man behind championship successes for Williams, McLaren and, as of last year, Red Bull Racing, but he is always looking forward to the next crown and, after Sebastian Vettel's flying start to the current campaign, has set his sights high once more.

"We have to win the championship - nothing less," he insisted to the official F1 website, "Only then, will I say [the 2011 car] is fantastic. I think the whole car is okay [after five wins in seven races], [and] we have certainly had a good start to the season, but F1 is all about development, so being quick at the start of the year isn't enough. You have to the quickest at the end of the season!"

Newey famously almost didn't make it to Red Bull, having toyed with the idea of leaving F1 altogether after hitting the heights with McLaren, but admits that there was something alluring about joining a team that had yet to taste success and was coming from the opposite end of the field.

"Of course, I have been very lucky in my career, and winning both titles last year with Red Bull Racing was very special because I joined the team very early on," he confirmed, "I was centrally involved and built up the team from the start. It was a fresh challenge.

"I was lucky to be very successful with Williams and then McLaren, but there was also the urge for a new challenge. Looking around at what that fresh challenge could be, I looked at yachts - at the America's Cup - but came to the conclusion that being involved with [an F1] team right from the start would be the challenge I was looking for. It was kind of like leaving the road of safety at McLaren and inching my way into unknown territory."

Confessing that he has never thought about the comparison between his title tally and that of Schumacher, Newey is now working with the man many believe to be the German's natural successor, and admits that Vettel is pretty unique among F1 drivers.

"The very special thing with Sebastian is how mature he is at this age," he revealed, "I've seen so often that, when drivers suddenly rise from obscurity to incredible stardom and fame, it goes to their head. They lose ground and their head gets a bit too big. Sebastian is remarkably level-headed. He is a very private man and isn't into the fame at all.

"He thinks a lot about what he does and rarely makes the same mistake twice. And he is very hard working. He is always in the paddock in the evening, speaking with his engineers, going through the data and reflecting on what he did in the car. I think that's one thing all great drivers have in common."

Despite his superior record, meanwhile, Newey is happy to share the spotlight with Vettel, who came from third in the standings to clinch the 2010 title from under the noses of RBR team-mate Mark Webber and Ferrari rival Fernando Alonso at the final round in Abu Dhabi.

"It is a combination of car, driver and engine," he said of any title challenge, "Only if all three factors come together will success be on the horizon. It is not possible to come to a definite conclusion on the percentage calculation [of each part]. Obviously, a car doesn't run without an engine but, today, with the frozen engine regulations, it is very difficult for one engine manufacturer to have a big advantage over the others. Of course, there are differences between the engines and, right now, we are blessed. But you need a good car and a good driver, [and] you don't win anything without the combination of both."

Newey's role is clearly a major catalyst for success, whatever he says, and he admits that there is pressure to keep producing on that level every season.

"It's a constant stress, so it is simply the level I live on," he conceded, "I find my biggest enemy is time. The job is very time-consuming - and can be over-consuming if you are not careful. To find enough time for the family - to have a life outside F1 - I really have to snatch this time. And then when I find myself idle for an hour, I almost feel guilty about it because I am not doing something.

"Of course, there is also the pressure to do well. If you are doing badly, then you want to do well. And then, when you do, you are under pressure to maintain it. It's the eternal circle. Occasionally, of course, I have a sleepless night - usually when I've been working late and have then gone to bed too quickly and my mind is still going - but, in general, I get a decent night's sleep.

"To be honest, I never have the time to worry about [getting a design 'wrong']. I just get on and do it. Part of car design is risk, and that means that you can go up and down. Occasionally, I have made mistakes, perhaps taken too many risks and the car has been too problematic, but then you could be too conservative and go nowhere.

"Regulation changes are always risky - there might be something that we haven't spotted, but somebody else has, and suddenly you are caught on the back foot because of that. You have to understand the rules - and understand what they dictate and what you have to do. You make the first shape and then step backwards telling yourself that that is what they want us to build. And then you try to spot ambiguities and ponder how you can make them work to your advantage.

"Aside from these things, I enjoy designing. I get a buzz out of the combination of design and sport. That is what F1 engineering is really. The car comes from a set of ideas and that, if you like, comes from the artistic side of the brain. Probably everybody could come up with something that looks pretty, but that doesn't means that it goes well. So you have to temper your ideas with the physical and mathematical side - and that requires huge discipline."