Newey: Development and cost cap to decide F1 title battle

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Red Bull's Adrian Newey believes the outcome of this year's fierce battle between the Bulls and Ferrari will be decided not only by F1's development race but also by how each team manages its cost cap relative to its upgrade cycles.

Red Bull's near perfect weekend at Imola, where it outscored Ferrari by 38 points, has put the Milton Keynes-based outfit back on track, both in the Constructors' standings and in the Drivers' Championship in which Max Verstappen now trails leader Charles Leclerc by 27 points.

Ferrari and Red Bull are in a league of their own at the front of the pack, just as the Bulls and Mercedes were last season, with their battle raging on until the final round in Abu Dhabi.

Asked on the F1 Nation podcast after its dominant display in Italy if Red Bull now has the superior car relative to the Scuderia, Newey said: "Yes probably today, but clearly in Melbourne we didn’t".

"I think it’s going to be like last year between Mercedes and ourselves," added F1's legendary designer.

"Some of the circuits will favour one car and others will favour another. It’s so difficult to forecast."


The consensus among F1 teams is that development will play a crucial role in crafting the pecking order moving forward.

Newey agreed but added that cost constraints as dictated by F1's imposed budget cap , or rather how they will be managed, will prove just as important.

"Development for sure is important but the other important factor this year is the cost cap," he said.

"It means we have to develop within the restrictions, so perhaps we’re making choices where things we might have introduced before, we wait for a bit longer and try to build up a bit of a package before we introduce it, because we can’t afford to do what we used to do last year or years gone by where there would be something every race."

Heralded as one of the greatest designers in the history of the sport, Newey – the man who can visualize the air flowing around a car – says he's still impassioned with F1 as he was in his early days.

"I love the design and engineering," he said. "It’s a design and human competition. There’s almost no other form of sport where you have this combination of man and machine."

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