Adrian Newey has been presented with the MIA's most coveted personal award by former F1 World Champion Damon Hill – the accolade for the Most Outstanding Personal Contribution to the Motorsport Industry, in recognition of his exceptional success in the sport over the past 30 years.
Newey joins a highly-impressive list of previous MIA award-winners, including Harvey Postlethwaite, Ross Brawn OBE, Sir Frank Williams CBE, Sir Stirling Moss OBE, Sir Jackie Stewart OBE, Tom Wheatcroft and Bernie Ecclestone amongst others.
The Englishman is widely-regarded as one of the greatest engineers in motor racing history, being the only designer to have clinched the constructors' crown with three different F1 teams. As chief technical officer of current runaway world championship-leaders Red Bull Racing, the quietly-spoken 52-year-old designed the 2010 title-winning RB6, and is presently enjoying his 2011 RB7 design dominating the field once again.
In 1980 – straight out of Southampton University – Newey joined Fittipaldi working under Postlethwaite, and subsequently March, where he had his first taste of success in the USA, designing IMSA GTP winners and IndyCars. His 85C chassis won the Indianapolis 500 and took the CART title.
In 1990, he switched to Williams, and – alongside Patrick Head – was instrumental in making F1 World Champions out of Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve. He moved to McLaren in 1997 to do the same for Mika Hakkinen. Since 2006, Newey has brought similar glory to Red Bull.
He races for enjoyment in his GT40, Jaguar E-Type and Ginetta G50, and more seriously in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Last year, he was presented with his own Red Bull RB5 as a reward for his achievements with the team, and he picked up his MIA award during the organisation's annual summer reception at the House of Lords hosted by Lord Drayson.
“I am delighted that Adrian has won the MIA award,” remarked Alistair Fergusson of Alcon, Chairman of the MIA. “His multiple world championships have been instrumental in keeping Britain at the pinnacle of global motorsport engineering. Such success will help sustain our industry in the future – a truly outstanding contribution to motorsport.”
“Adrian's personal contribution to the motorsport industry can be easily summarised in one word – inspiration,” echoed Chris Aylett, CEO of the MIA. “With engineering leaders such as Adrian in F1, it will keep leading the world in competitive engineering and attract new, young engineers to get involved.”
The MIA's 2011 summer reception – regarded as the most prestigious social gathering on the international motorsport business calendar – was attended by more than 300 guests comprising Peers, Ministers of State, Ambassadors, MPs, VIPs, MIA members and leaders from the motor racing industry across the globe. A display of the Le Mans-winning Audi R18, the Mercedes Grand Prix car and a Ford Fiesta RS WRC welcomed guests on arrival.