Sailor Sir Ben Ainslie says there is the potential for “genius” Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey to advise on the four-time Olympic champion’s America’s Cup yacht design.
Briton Ainslie triumphed in the America’s Cup for the first time when he was instrumental in US team Oracle’s remarkable comeback victory over Team New Zealand last year.
No British team has won the competition in its 162-year history but Ainslie is hoping to change that. He is trying to raise the investment to form a British team so he can enter the next event, which will be within three to five years of the last competition.
Newey has said in the past that the challenge of the America’s Cup excited him. “The formula of man and machine is an exciting one to work in, which is why thoughts about the America’s Cup have come about,” he said.
“Where else is there a big budget sporting blend of man and machine and competition? The America’s Cup is the only big alternative.”
The Red Bull design chief met Ainslie at last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix where the topic was discussed.
“I did go to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix,” Ainslie told BBC 5 live. “I went as a Formula 1 fan and Adrian is a big sailing fan.
“We had a great catch up but Adrian is committed to the Formula 1 world for the foreseeable future but there is the potential for him to perhaps get involved and cast his eye over our design team and what we’re looking at doing moving forward.
“To have the advice of Adrian or many of the very smart people involved with Formula 1 industry in the UK would be a great boost for us a team.
“He is clearly a genius, in anything to do with competitive design and he’s got a great profile but I would hate for anyone to think we were trying to prise him away from Red Bull Racing.”