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Adrian Newey, Chief Designer of Red Bull’s double title-winning RB6, admits that he was at times irritated by the intense speculation over his car’s legality this season, with gossip having been evoked by competitors in relation to topics such as its front wing and a supposed moveable floor.
2010 marks Newey’s first clinching of a constructors’ title since McLaren topped the standings in 1998, with a Drivers’ Championship having not headed his way since Mika Häkkinen’s triumph in Japan one year later. After joining Red Bull Racing at the end of 2005, Newey has been the principal mastermind of all cars from 2007 onwards.
“It wasn’t a distraction, but it was an annoyance,” said the 51-year-old, who will celebrate his next birthday on Boxing Day.
“I’ve got to say I’ve never known a season quite like this one for the petty finger pointing that’s gone on in the paddock. It’s a shame, but the bottom line is that what we’ve done with the front wing has been endlessly investigated by the press and the FIA. The FIA quite rightly have to look at it, as they have to take these things seriously – and what we’ve done is completely legal.”
Newey also shook off gossip that his cars’ setups were being illegally altered in order to gain around an extra three tenths of a second per lap in the final phase of qualifying.
“It’s a myth!” he continued. “I’m not sure our Q3 performance has been particularly different to our Q1 and Q2 performance, to be honest.
“I haven’t bothered looking through statistics, but I think it’s one of these stories that starts when once or twice the drivers have improved in Q3 and suddenly everybody writes it and it becomes accepted without any real basis.
“Sometimes it might be the case that we’ll only do one run on the harder tyres to get through the sessions, so it looks different in Q3 with the softer tyres – but the basic idea is a myth.”
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