Posted 21 June 2008 - 14:13
Translated Q&A with Newey:
Q: Before the start of the season you clearly said the RB4 had great potential. But you seemed afraid of not being to prove it. Why ?
Newey: ''You always have to be cautious at the beginning of the season. At that stage we were in a very tight group of competitors and the position of each one of us was related to details. From one GP to another your position could change from P7 to P15. We were not able to develop the new car as fast and as well as we had wanted during the winter. This caused some discomfort and uncertainty. But I was actually convinced the RB4 had the right potential.''
Q: What is specifically missing to get where you want to be ?
Newey: ''It's the lack of time. We're far away from being a top team. The Red Bull team is correctly 'balanced' but is very young and isn't comparable to the teams at the top. In our case everything takes more time. Compared to McLaren we inevitably need more time to think of a part, design and manufacture it.''
Q: ''What kind of equipment and ressources do you have to do without when compared to the topteams ?
Newey: ''Computing power and for example simulation programmes. You don't simply buy those. You need to work on them yourself, adapt them to your needs, let them evolve over time. Writing such programmes takes time. Developing the windtunnel, or CFD programmes takes time. It's not like we unroll a check list that is handed to us. It's up to us to make the checklist ourselves. We're a young, small and independant team which is gradually making progress. The difficulty for us is related to a number of things: the budget - which isn't infinite -, the infrastructure, the equipment, the size of the team. Eventhough we're a decent force, we're still modest in comparison with the manufacturer teams. And then there's the method of working: trying to be most efficient with what you have. But it's fascinating, an everlasting passion !''
Q: Did you 'measure' the scale of the task that was awaiting you when arrived at Red Bull three years ago ?
Newey: ''Oh yes, perfectly ! I knew what was awaiting me and it was the kind of challenge I was looking for at the time. At that stage of my carreer I was in need of some fresh air, willing to completely get involved in a new project, to start from scratch and guide it to its set objectives. For me working at Williams and McLaren was a very interesting experience, but I was willing to get out of the established systems.''
Q: Without a doubt your responsabilities at Red Bull are greater than they've ever been...
Newey: ''Yes, the scope of responsabilities that I have is wide enough. My title is 'General Technical Director of Red Bull Technology', which comprises both Red Bull and Toro Rosso. But in reality my work is fundamentally carried out at Red Bull. And I have great fun. For all my life I have loved racing cars and I will do so forever because it's an infinite love. But the difference today is that my job goes beyond that: Christian Horner and I work hand in hand, we both decide the philosophy of the team and we think of the best way to spend the money we have at our disposal to meet with our aims.''
Q: Did Coulthard's third place in Canada come unexpected ?
Newey: ''I wouldn't say unexpected since one of our objectives this season was to score one or more podium spots this season.''
Q: You're fourth in the championship behind Ferrari, McLaren and BMW Sauber, and you're in front of Toyota, Williams and Renault, the latter being your engine supplier. Who can this nice performance be attributed to ?
Newey: ''I think it should be attributed to the basis: the work of the team. We've manufactured a good car which we methodically develop. Our drivers, both of them experienced, contribute to the effectiviness of our approach. We trust David and Mark and we go into the details of an issue when they come up with criticism about the car.''
Q: Some teams are already focussing on the new regulations to come back strongly in 2009. What do you make of that ?
Newey: ''That's seems a good excuse to me, don't you think ? If you're not doing very well this year and you want to save your skin, then the only thing to do is to say: 'From now on we concentrate on 2009'. But personally I'm not sure if the future regulations will lead to a shift in the pecking order as is claimed by many. The big teams will adapt more easily to the new situation and I even fear that the gaps could even grow bigger.''