America's Cup winner Sir Ben Ainslie has admitted that he would love to see Adrian Newey involved with a potential British entry to the competition, but insists that he would not look to separate the designer from Red Bull Racing.
Ainslie, who was part of a remarkable comeback that saw Oracle Team USA overcome an 8-1 deficit to claim the 34th America's Cup from Emirates Team New Zealand, has welcomed talk of a British entry – which has naturally led to speculation that Newey may turn his back on F1 to indulge his other sporting love, with yacht racing making use of his CFD skills.
The pair met at last season's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, adding grist to the rumour mill, but Newey insists that his focus is solely on Red Bull's latest title defence, and Ainslie admits that, while he admires the designer's body of work, he is not attempting to sway his loyalty.
"Adrian is a big sailing fan," the multiple Olympic champion told the BBC Radio 5 Live
, "We had a great catch-up, but Adrian is committed to F1 for the foreseeable future.
"There's the potential for him perhaps to get involved, cast his eye over our design team and what we're looking at doing. To have the advice of Adrian - or many of the very smart people involved with the F1 industry in the UK - would be a great boost for us as a team.
"He is clearly a genius in anything to do with competitive design, and he's got a great profile, but I would hate for anyone to think we were trying to prise him away from Red Bull Racing."
As the reigning champion, Oracle Team USA has the right to choose the venue, type of boats and date for the 35th America's Cup, which must take place within three to five years of the previous competition, but Ainslie believes he has reason to be confident about securing the investment for a British challenger.