Adrian Newey says Red Bull has to continue developing its 2021 car despite the major regulation change for next year because it has a chance of winning both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships.
Max Verstappen is eight points behind Lewis Hamilton in the drivers’ championship while Mercedes leads Red Bull by 12 points in the constructors’ standings after the latter scored just two points in the past two races. Newey believes the 2022 regulations are the biggest change for 40 years, but the chief technical officer said Red Bull can’t pass up on this year’s opportunities.
“I would say this is the biggest single regulation change we’ve had since the ground effect/venturi cars were banned at the end of 1982,” Newey said. “It really is a revolution. The only thing that really stays the same is the power unit. Everything else is different.
“The balancing act is that we have to keep developing this year’s car because, at the moment, we have a shot at the titles. And yet at the same time, we can’t just concentrate on this year and ignore what’s to come. We’re doing our best to juggle those two balls while also coping with the cost cap which, as everyone knows, has meant we’ve unfortunately had to shrink the size of the team in certain areas.”
While Newey’s main focus is on developing the car, he’s also worked with numerous world champion drivers and said Verstappen has shown all of the traits needed to bounce back from recent setbacks in the title race.
“He has the same steely grit as any world champion, the stuff that they need to dig in and keep going in the face of adversity,” he said. “He can put the past behind him and look forward to the next race. His driving ability is obviously superb, and he’s matured into a great racer.
“He’s really not made any mistakes this year. The races where he hasn’t scored heavily – Baku, Silverstone and Hungary – have been no fault of his, but he’s kept his head and bounced back from all of those. I don’t think the pressure of the situation will affect him.”