28 November 2013
Newey will keep going ‘while I enjoy it’
Adrian Newey has no plans to walk away from F1, despite being linked to other projects.
Adrian Newey has some bad news for Red Bull's rivals, admitting that he has no immediate plans to walk away from F1.
Speaking with the official F1 website, the brains behind world championship winners at Williams and McLaren as well as RBR admitted that the sport continued to hold a fascination for him and, despite ongoing suggestions that he may one day move to the world of yacht racing, insists that he has no plans to walk away just yet.
“I would never stop without giving anybody a good period of notice,” he said, “The honest truth is that, as long as I keep enjoying it, I will keep going.”
Revealing that the closest he came to quitting F1 came amid the highly-political era at the start of the century, Newey insists that he never allows himself to become satisfied with his work, always believing there is more to be achieved.
“I never sit back reflecting on such things,” he claimed, “I am trying to play to my interests, yes, and hopefully my interests are also my strength. I guess it's less about being crazy and more about having confidence that what you are doing is going into a good direction. Equally, you have to be passionate about it and believe that what you're doing is correct.
“You might call it the artistic side of it, but then you have to be able to stand back and try to be objective: is that a good direction, or isn't it? If the answer is 'no, it is not' then you have to be prepared to say that the last hour, the last day, the last week is in the bin. [There's] no inner voice. I call it the 24-hour rule: does it still look a good idea after 24 hours? That decides whether it gets a tick or a cross.
“Trying to stay on top of the technology changes and the managerial changes has been an exciting task. Coming back to what all these years have taught me: standing still is deadly.”
Revealing that one secret of his success is to 'try to spend at least 50 per cent of my time behind the drawing board and the rest with my colleagues at the factory going over their findings' allows Newey to confirm one of the myths surrounding his design process – that he still prefers 'a blank sheet of paper and a 7B pencil' rather than modern computerised methods.
“To some extent, it is still habit,” he confirmed, “I graduated in 1980, long before CAD systems, so I have always used a drawing board and never took the time to learn a CAD system. I love the drawing board because most of the work I do is of half scale, so I can have the complete car in front of me, whereas the CAD system limits you to the size of the screen.”
While he may not yet be ready to turn his back on F1, however, Newey - who admits to getting offers from other teams - insists that he can switch off for a few days.
“Believe it or not, I can,” he smiled, “I go the Caribbean for a few days and make my mind stop racing. F1 is a very consuming taskmaster and one of the tricks is to keep it in balance.”
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