Adrian Newey has turned his attentions to helping Red Bull Racing prepare for the 2017 Formula 1 season and the implementation of 'exciting' new technical regulations, Christian Horner has revealed.
One of F1's most respected engineers, Newey – who masterminded title-winning success for Williams and McLaren before joining Red Bull – has taken on a more 'behind-the-scenes' role in recent years in favour of devoting his time to other projects alongside his F1 commitments.
However, having been a staunch critic of the current 'V6 Hybrid' era, which he feels places far too much emphasis on the engine rather than the chassis, Newey has ensured he is heavily involved in assisting Red Bull ahead of next year's change in technical regulations, which will see aerodynamic tweaks lead to faster, more aggressive-looking cars.
Indeed, Christian Horner says Newey is 'excited' by the potential of the regulations, which many feel will be a golden opportunity for Red Bull – champions between 2010 and 2013 - to make up ground on Mercedes and Ferrari.
"I think he's excited by the regulation change for 2017 so he's splitting his time very much between the two projects," Horner told ESPN
at the launch of the Newey-designed AM RB-001 'hypercar'. "Once the Aston Martin project is into a detailed design phase he tends to step back at that point. He's very much about the concept, about the aerodynamics, about the layout of the car and he's very heavily involved obviously in the 2017 car as well."
"Adrian over the last couple of years has been spending probably about 50% of his time focused on Formula One. We've geared ourselves around utilising his time accordingly.
"I think his time during any week or month varies. It depends what the priorities are. He has a tremendously high work-rate but we have got some enormously capable people on the Formula One team that have had that little bit of breathing space as well. They have used that to great effect with for example the current car."