2021 has seen Red Bull and Mercedes locked in an intense battle for both world championships, with their fierce on-track rivalry also spilling over into a war of words off it.

Mercedes has pushed the FIA to issue a series of technical directives relating to flexi wings, tyre pressures and pit stops, all of which Red Bull believes has been a direct attempt to impact its performance.

And Newey, who has been at Red Bull since 2006, reckons the lobbying against his team has reached a level never seen before in F1.

“In many ways it is a compliment to the team to find ourselves under such scrutiny from others,” Newey said in an interview published on the Red Bull website.

“We have experienced this before but I can’t remember a time when we have received the same level of behind the scenes politicking and lobbying against our car.

“Possibly if you look back to when we were exploring aeroelastics in 2010 / 2011 then we were under constant scrutiny and would adapt to each changing set of regulations. We’ve been here before in the last championship battles with Ferrari which involved some rows over bodywork flexibility as well.”

Newey added: “I never particularly like the war analogy – but it is a decent analogy, and you have to look at every aspect you can to improve your competitive position.

“That is the nature of Formula 1, and one of the things that makes it so stimulating, but it is the frequency and intensity of this year that is quite telling.”

Newey said he took pride in how Red Bull handled and responded to Mercedes’ public lobbying during the flexi-wing saga.

“If you take the issue with the flexible rear wing, we certainly weren’t the only team to have that issue,” he explained.

“But of course, when Mercedes started making noise about it, they weren’t worried about what Alfa were doing. They were only worried about whether we were getting a benefit, which we really weren’t. But there was a cost implication to changing that part which obviously hurt.

“It is however a great testament to the depth of our team that we can respond to changes and is a great example of when our team is put in a corner we can come out fighting and continue to be just as competitive.”