Pirelli's decision to revert to tyres more closely resembling those used in 2012 was not the only reason why Red Bull Racing suddenly took charge of the 2013 world championship.
That is the view of Adrian Newey who, along with driver Sebastian Vettel and the rest of the squad, celebrated a fourth successive title double at Sunday's Indian Grand Prix.
Prior to the British Grand Prix in late June, Vettel had won three of seven races, but had not established the sort of dominance that would follow the sport's summer break and cement his place among the pantheon of four-time champions. Silverstone, of course, was the scene of four dramatic blow-outs that sparked safety concerns for the Pirellis that had been introduced for 2013, and ultimately led to a mandatory switch of rubber for the remainder of the season.
While some teams - notably Force India and, to lesser extent, Ferrari - suffered from the move, others, like Red Bull and Sauber, appeared to take a step forward in performance. The Milton Keynes team had petitioned hard for a return to the tried-and-tested construction, but Newey insists that it was not the 'single magic bullet' that turned a competitive car into an unbeatable force.
"Going back to 2012 tyres, for sure, helped us," Newey admitted to journalists, "The 2013 tyres were much more load sensitive. It was much more easy to damage them if you put too much load into them.
"[But] a bit of it was the nature of the circuit as well. The circuits we had as we got into the second half of the season perhaps suited the car. We hadn't fully got on top of front-limited circuits such as China and Barcelona, so probably Spa and Monza suited us, being medium and low downforce circuits. Then, by the time we got to Singapore, we'd managed to get on top of the high downforce areas we'd struggled with a bit earlier in the season."
Newey admits, however, that the introduction of the different tyre allowed Red Bull to play to the strengths of its car – itself an evolution of the team's 2012 design – and cites Hungary as one race that got away when it should have made Vettel's winning run stretch to eight races rather than the current six. Indeed, throw in Silverstone, when the German appeared favourite to win before a late-race DNF, and the world champion would be into double figures...
"We made some decent steps, and introduced quite a few parts to the car in Hungary" the designer confirmed said, “That really was one that got away for us, in as much as I feel that was a weekend we didn't manage to deliver the full potential of the car, although what partly ruined our race, of course, was Seb getting stuck behind Jenson [Button]. That perhaps masked where we'd got to in Hungary, as we'd got further than it showed, but there was no single magic component or magic bullet to our upturn in performance.”
Next season, of course, presents a very different challenge to Newey, Vettel and Red Bull, on where a simple evolution of the RB9 will not be sufficient to resist the renewed threat from Ferrari, Mercedes, Lotus and, hopefully, McLaren too. Despite lingering ambitions to design racing yachts – with the F1-esque Americas Cup a likely destination in future – Newey insists that he remains focused on F1.
"It's been an amazing ride," he admitted, "When I joined Red Bull it was kind of a bit of a career risk to leave an established team like McLaren, but it's been incredibly satisfying. I find the environment very stimulating and, next year, we have this big regulation change, which is exciting and nerve-racking at the same time. That's my immediate concentration."
Three races remain on the 2013 schedule and, should Vettel continue his winning ways, he would emulate fellow countryman Michael Schumacher's record of 13 victories in a single season...