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Daredevil Newey has another accident
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Daredevil Newey has another accident
Posted By: James Allen  |  08 Aug 2010   |  8:00 pm GMT  |  59 comments

When I was writing the other day about the things that could stop Red Bull winning the world championships, I forgot to consider an incapacitated technical director.


Red Bull got away with it today when Adrian Newey had another accident, this time at the wheel of a Ginetta G50 in the BTCC support race at Snetterton.

Newey was spun into the path of another car. After a heavy side-on impact, he was removed from the car on a back-board and taken to hospital for check ups.

I’m told that in hospital he was chatting to the doctors, but was in some pain.

This is not the first time that Newey has had an accident. He had a huge accident in a Ford GT40 at Le Mans a few years ago, where the car snapped sideways at 180mph and smashed into the barriers. He escaped with a cut finger on that occasion.

And I clearly recall him crashing a motor bike into the awning of the Williams motorhome at Magny Cours in the early 1990s, doing a wheelie! Again nothing broken, but he had some gravel rash and a lot of embarrassment!

Newey is pretty active. It’s great that a design guru like him wants to get out and compete himself. Lotus designer Colin Chapman was a keen driver and was very quick, by all accounts. He could go out in his own cars and assess driver feedback.

And although Red Bull are all about extreme sports and being on the edge, given Newey’s importance to the team one wonders if someone high up will have a quiet word with him to cool it until they’ve got some titles in the bag.

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59 Comments
  1. Andy C says:

    Hope Adrian is ok.

    Hearing stories like the wheelie incident confirm that you can’t judge a book by it’s cover. They might want to reconsider the rb5 gift though ;-)

    Brilliant. Get well soon Adrian.

    1. Henry says:

      talking about books, A book on adrien Newey and the cars he has designed would be a fascinating read – he has been a part of some of the greatest teams and cars in formula one over the years…not often a technical director gets a biography but personally I would buy it, and hopefully enjoy it!

      1. James Allen says:

        I agree with that. A photo led book would be great

      2. ian says:

        Better if it was like the new one on Colin Chapman – the technical stuff is very readable.

      3. I second that, I have always admired Adrian over my years of F1, but this year I have found him really fascinating and the fact he does racing and has his own F1 car is incredible. An inspiration to anyone who enjoys life to the full and follows what you enjoy!

      4. rumbert says:

        i’d buy that book…

      5. Andrew Woodruff says:

        Super idea. In depth on the evolution of the Williams cars of the early ’90s would be fascinating.

  2. Banjo says:

    I can’t see Newey giving up his passion for Racing. Especially seeing as he has his own F1 car to take for a spin now a days.

  3. EM says:

    Not bad for a number 3 driver

    1. Tom (London) says:

      LOL

  4. Stewart says:

    If you missed it live on ITV4 earlier today, here’s the video – he’s the white #50 car: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4RRBTMzOms

  5. He also crashed Dietrich Mateschitz’s car during the winter coming into his drive!

    Here is a video of the incident, a hard hit but i reckon he was probably more in shock than anything else

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4RRBTMzOms

  6. Rich C says:

    ROFLMAO

    Someone need to remind him how old he is and how slowly the body heals at his age. That RedBull ‘mystique’ is for looney-tune teenagers who, as we all know, are still immortal!

  7. True Blue says:

    Rubbish ! It proves he has a life.
    Carry on Adrian…….doing something HE enjoys

  8. benny boy says:

    I saw this crash and it seemed very tame, I think the media has blown it up a little!
    He was racing a lotus exige/elise with a Honda type R engine in the britcar championship last year it was all liveried up in the redbull colours, I heard as part of his contract with redbull f1 they would support his personal rcing!

  9. Goofaman says:

    OK, enough with Red Bull worries. The man is a menace to the world of race car collectors. He does more damage than a fire at the Peterson Auto Museum!

  10. Sheryl Dutton says:

    Would like to know how he is. Saw the accident, but no-one is saying what has happened to him.

    1. James Allen says:

      Trying to find out now

  11. Glad he’s OK. Looks like he can show the team how to relax as well! ;-)

  12. Cort says:

    Oh for heaven’s sake, that’s barely a knock.

  13. BMG says:

    You can’t stop people from doing what they love. You take away there passions and you are left with an empty sole.

    1. Rich C says:

      Yes you can. This is not a sport, this is Big Business.

      And its pretty normal for companies to have ‘critical people’ clauses in their contracts that rule out activities that might incapacitate their non-replacable ppl.

      Although with his God-like position its hard to imagine anyone reining him in!

      1. Ilanin says:

        Yeah, basically Newey is a law unto himself because pretty much every team in the pitlane would want to hire him, so he can go to whoever will put up with him being crazy.

  14. Tombob says:

    Number one rule when you spin out of control… get your foot on the brake!

    1. And turn the wheel to stop yourself going back into the middle of the track. Glad to hear he’s ok. Mark Webber has just tweeted that Newey is in good spirits.

  15. Andrew Carter says:

    Hope it’s nothing serious. Mind you, if the RB bosses tell him to stay away from the race tracks then I hope he finds his way to the special stage or hillclimbe!

  16. Trent says:

    He really seems to have been key to Redbulls success.

    One can only wonder how things might have been different for Jaguar, had they managed to poach him off Mclaren (as they were apparently close to doing)…

  17. Sam B says:

    Christian Horner and Mark Webber mentioned in an F1 Racing issue last year how accident-prone Adrian Newey is, but I thought they were only exaggerating. Then there were Horner’s jokes when Red Bull turned over an RB5 to Newey.

    Guess he does have a bit of bad luck behind the wheel. But good for him for having a life. Hope he’s better now.

    1. Bert says:

      lol

      Being lead designer for the quickest car in F1, and over seeing the updates for each race isn’t already having a life? I am pretty sure anyone who works in an F1 factory would argue they have a life. Pretty sure it’s only the drivers that get to relax and bathe in the swimming pools in between races.

  18. bones says:

    James about this:
    “And although Red Bull are all about extreme sports and being on the edge, given Newey’s importance to the team one wonders if someone high up will have a quiet word with him to cool it until they’ve got some titles in the bag.”
    I think you should edit it otherwise it feels like you mean that once RB win some titles ppl in the team would not care if he gets killed or not.

  19. Robert Powers says:

    I understand why F1 drivers
    (and astronauts too)are asked to put their personal activities in check for the duration of a contract.F1 racing is big business.

    But I think it would be wrong to ask others on the team for the same agreement.Adrian Newey can certainly race on off weekends.What a blast those races are-good for him.

  20. theRoswellite says:

    The general public prescription would seem to be: avoid risk at all costs. Except, of course, the risk of living one’s entire life in absentia.

    Mr. Newey seems to be in the habit of living in the moment, or more correctly, participating in the moment…a fair distance from the actual slogan of our day: JUST(watch someone else)DO IT!

    Right back at’um Adrian.

  21. Tony G says:

    Didn’t he also have a big shunt at Le Mans in his GT40 a while back? Maybe they should put him in a Toro Rosso to cause some safety cars if Red Bull’s championships are at risk. Seriously though, would doubt that Red Bull would let their drivers loose in a club race let alone their chief designer.

  22. JohnBt says:

    The crash didn’t look too serious IMHO.
    I guess age plays a part too.

    Wish Newey well and a speedy recovery.

  23. tank says:

    Kids today.

    Seriously though, he should keep doing things he likes. A happy engineer is a motivated engineer.

  24. JimmIC says:

    Do drivers still have clauses in their contracts preventing them from doing certain things during a season in case of injury? I’d extend it to the staff as well :P Maybe ban a Ducati-riding lollipop man from taking it out of a weekend..

  25. Philip W says:

    i watched nearly of the coverage of the btcc yesterday. (don’t ask how i had a very boring sunday).

    the presenters commented that this was in fact his second crash of the weekend. apparently he had a big one on saturday too.

    in all fairness i like the fact that he is doing this. he is showing that he has a hobby for racing and not just designing cars that are very fast but more fragile than a chocolate teapot.

    i hope he gets better soon.

  26. Simon says:

    Just wait until Webbo starts giving him flying lessons …

  27. Harvey Yates says:

    “Lotus designer Colin Chapman was a keen driver and was very quick, by all accounts. He could go out in his own cars and assess driver feedback.”

    I can’t remember the actual circumstances but I think it was before a GP.

    There was a support race where team managers drove Escorts around Brands. No wing mirror was safe.

    Colin hapman was fast and, to say the least, competative. John Cooper, Frank Williams (also very fast) were driving and I think Brabham (memory fades) but for the majority of the race Chapman stayed in the lead.

    I was a little way round Paddock so didn’t see the end but I think Chapman lost the lead on the last lap, probably when trying to push someone overtaking him off the road (supposition but I’d bet on it).

    The race was one of no quarter given.

    The race had the atmosphere of last day of term.

    Now that was a support race.

    Does anyone else remember it? I tell my friends but they reckon I’m making it up. It was possibly 1970.

    Sorry to be so woolly about it.

    1. JimmiC says:

      I really want that to be true. How about it Bernie? A Team Managers Championship. Ten laps before every race in a Renault Clio or something. Villeneuve might win another trophy after all if he gets his team on the grid…

    2. Simon Lord says:

      The Escort Mexico race can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHTqivVJsMU Imagine today’s F1 team principals having the freedom, skill and joie de vivre to do this!

      1. Harvey Yates says:

        Thanks for that. It wasn’t how I remembered it. I thought Chapman was in the lead. Did he win? I’ve got the programme. I’ll look it up.

        My memory must be going as I remember it being in colour as well.

        I’m not sure I would have classified it under 100 greatest sporting moments. The managers were every bit as competative as they are nowadays.

        I certainly remember everyone being very excited by the race. It was entertaining.

        Thanks again for digging it out for me.

      2. Simon Lord says:

        I think Chapman got the lead on the last lap then blew up, leaving Brabham to take the win.

    3. Paul Gibson says:

      Chapman was a indeed a keen and quick driver. So keen and quick in fact that he reached F1 as a driver before he got there as a constructor, and entered the 1956 French GP, driving a Vanwall (DNS).

    4. David Hamilton says:

      The comments about Colin Chapman reminded me that he hired Jim Clark after Chapman had beaten Clark into second place in a GT race (yes, you read that right!):

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Clark#Early_years

      Apparently it was really hard-fought race, which is what inspired Chapman to hire Clark. Proves however that Chapman was absolutely no slouch…

  28. James W says:

    Best wishes to Adrian. Think it was fortunate that the impact was on the passenger side in this case too.

  29. Jason says:

    Schoolboy error !! always keep your foot on the brake when spinning and then you don’t wander into oncoming cars . totaly avoidable !!

  30. Paul says:

    New press release from Red Bull: If you watch the video carefully you will see that Adrian actually slips on a tennis ball and lands awkwardly. Much like Juan Pablo Montoya when he fell off his motorbike prior to the 2005 F1 season :)

    1. JimmiC says:

      Snetterton is notorious for tennis balls, especially if you go off the racing line a bit.

  31. F1Maniac says:

    I think that it’s important for him to enjoy himself racing, i’m sure it gives him perspective and perhaps a few ideas for developing his racing cars. I read somewhere once that he often comes up with solutions after a good nights sleep and that he never “switches off” meaning he is always thinking about racing and F1.

    Think we need to coax Rory Byrne to come out of retirement and get another legendary designer to take on Newey.

  32. F1 Novice says:

    So which one of the Red Bull mechanics is going to be brave enough to stick a “L” plate on the back of his chair when he’s up on the “Pratt Perch” on Pit Wall at Spa ? :)

    1. David Ryan says:

      That would be brilliant… :D

  33. Paulinho says:

    I liked the comments giving to Louise when she spoke to one of the employes of Ginetta.

    Some comment about “Flexable wings” :-)

    1. Philip W says:

      i heard that too. i think it was the chairman of Ginetta. Louise looked extremely awkward tho

    2. Ange says:

      Who’s Louise?

  34. Steve W says:

    Hopefully this will appear as the words “get well soon” to Newey are included……..
    Promise not to mention any new parts…..a wing maybe?

  35. Bert says:

    It’s a good point that it’s a risk that he shouldn’t be taking.

    However, I’m sure he would argue that his racing gives him extra insight into the design aspect. Seeing it from all sides, from the drivers point of view etc. I don’t know if there is anything to that or not, but it is for certain is that he loves to race and that whatever his methods (risky or not).. they are very effective. He is one of the best designers in F1 history.

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