Adrian Newey: “We stand to lose the most again” – New F1 season just 73 days away
Posted By: James Allen  |  01 Jan 2014   |  10:50 am GMT  |  256 comments

As the calendar page turns to 2014, thoughts focus on the new F1 season which is now just 73 days away.

The change to the technical regulations is the biggest for a generation and no-one is really sure how the racing will be affected. Reliability is going to be vital, Mercedes’ Niki Lauda has said he thinks it could be the decisive factor in the end for the championship.

F1’s popularity has been hit by the domination by Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull and what many people will be waiting to see is whether the change to the hybrid turbo engines will mean a change in the order at the front.

Red Bull’s Adrian Newey has consistently downplayed expectations of his car for 2014, which could be a bluff, but he has explained in more detail some of the areas where Red Bull will lose their competitive advantages, built up over the last few years with the V8 engine formula. Chief among them is the ability to work with Renault on channeling exhaust gases to boost rear end aerodynamics
and downforce.

“There is almost no effect from the exhaust with the further single pipe exit position and the fact that the turbocharger takes a lot of the energy in any case, so there’s virtually nothing left,” he said. “We’ve probably done a better job than our competitors in developing the best use of the exhaust position from the current restriction, so unfortunately we stand to lose the most again.”

Another of the real unknowns is where the main area of development will be this year.

Newey believes that the significant change to the rules around the front wing of the car will provide headaches for teams in the initial testing phase of getting the cars to work, but may well provide a rich area for development,

“I think the big problem next year will particularly be the narrow front wing, which is a big change,” he said. “100mm off the front wing (i.e. narrower) doesn’t sound very much but it’s actually a big change because it puts the endplate right in the middle of the front tyre now, so I think on the straight aero side trying to recover from that is going to be one of the big challenges.

“In addition there’s the whole challenge of packaging the engine. The power unit, I should say, is now a very complicated beast. It’s a sort of two or threefold jump in complication compared with installing a V8.”

A very Happy New Year to all JA on F1 readers and thanks for your support and feedback during 2013.

We had a great year hitting a new high in traffic and reach; with 1.75 million active unique users on the site from 225 countries around the world.

The UK was the leading country with 39% of the audience, but the USA and Australia were next up on 12% each, then Canada, India, Spain, Germany and on from there.

We are constantly evolving this site and we have a few exciting things planned for this year in terms of site development. We hope these will help to bring you even more insightful coverage of Formula 1 in all its aspects. We are also working hard to create opportunities to bring the fans closer to the sport, such as the recent opportunity for eight readers to drive the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team simulator.

If you have any suggestions of things you would like to see here on JA on F1, then please feel free to leave them in the comments box below.

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outstanding read, just what i was looking for!


This is my first time pay a quick visit at here and i am genuinely pleassant to read everthing

at one place.


We had a great year hitting a new high in traffic and reach; with 1.75 million active unique users on the site from 225 countries around the world.

225 countries??? LOL.


While folks have been commenting about the website – where’s the 2014 calender including testing dates, tyre testing dates, etc? 🙂

Thanks for all your good work – here’s looking forward to more of the same and more in 2014 🙂


Why are we talking about changes to this site?

It’s terrific as is. It ain’t broke; don’t fix it.

Thanks, James. The website is a pleasure, and it’s nice to know it’s here…one of the dependable positives in life.

It’s a big warm blanket. 😉


Nice site James, it’s been a good read all year.

My one wish would be to get your webdesign people to make it a “responsive design” for mobile.



“F1′s popularity has been hit by the domination by Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull”

Wrong, F1’s popularity has been hit by silly gimmicks like DRS & Pirelli tyres.

Most of the people I know who used to watch every F1 race have now stopped not because of Red Bull/Vettel but because they don’t like the direction F1 has gone with these artificial gimmicks.

Im starting to go the same way & missed a few races last year for the 1st time since we got every round shown on TV in the UK in about 1978?


Hey, doesn’t that narrow front wing expose the tire further, and as a result of 5cm more of exposure on the outside of the tire, doesn’t it offer “opportunity” for front wheel to more easily lock with the exposed rear wheels and make the cars airborne? Especially during starts when such contact is most likely, and in the past was more of a front wing into someone’s rear tire scenario?

I know I’m late to point this out, and regs are set already. But surely someone pointed to this in light of the Wheldon carsh, and the many close calls we’ve had with airborne open wheelers, including if I remember right Schumi in 2011 having someone fly a few inches above his helmet.

Now this is a safety issue to talk about that should have concenred drivers more. Surely there was a way to reduce front aero without such significant increase to the exposure of the front wheel outside leading edge that is most likely to catch.

Mark this comment down friends. I will come back to it if this happens this season.


Fair point Seebee, but less likely to happen now that Webber has retired from F1 😉


And Kovi (or so it would seem) 😉


The wings will be more like they were before 2009 and back then I don’t remember it being a problem.

The front wheels are free-spinning, so I don’t think that would get the car airborne if it touched the rear wheel of the car in front. To do what you’re describing you’d need the rear tyre of both the cars to run over each other and that very rarely happens.


Of course I hope it doesn’t happen. Simply I’m sure this change increases the odds. A bit of a strange regs change considering the fact that in open wheel racing this is one of the big risks.

I don’t think it matters that a wheen is free spinning. They touch, they stick, the rear wheel rotation will “lift” the free spinning front wheel toiching it. Then it’s just a matter of energy the car is carrying.


Hi Sebee. Your thought is right, but I believe that if a car is going to crash into his predecessor, the front wing is too weak to avoid the impact. Have a great year!!


Hi Allen,

I like to read your articles and every now and then I translate one (like this one) for our Dutch F1-site. It is read with pleasure.

You ask for new idea’s. Well, I have a few…

Since I am a great fan of Williams and of Jenson Button, could you do an analasis of how good Jens really is (i.e. how good is he at developing a car and about his driving style) and one about if Williams F1 Team is able to recover from the all-time-low season 2013?

I’d love to read that!

Kind regards and keep on doing the good stuff!

Erwin van Delft


I’ll add it to the list. Thanks


Unfortunately he stands to lose the most again…

Sorry Adrian, there’s no sympathy coming from me. He is in a situation where he had a ‘jet fighter plane’ and everyone else was optimising their ‘propeller plane’ solutions.

From 2013 he can afford to lose a lot, falling from the skies above to still be on the top step. It’s not like the Pirellis won’t suit him right from the start this time.

His biggest worry may not be other teams, but how reliable his complex solutions are in the new environment.

Heck I wouldn’t be surprised if he is the only one who nails the aero solution of the new small front wing deflecting air into the front tyres.

In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if he manages to deflect the air to distort his front tyres into an aerodynamic device themselves, he’s that good. 😉 Legally of course, or at least the legal side of the grey areas of the rules. In fact there’s a title for Adrian’s autobiography, 50 Shades of Grey Areas, where he can hopefully explain how he kept getting one over all the other engineers. No doubt it’ll be a top seller.

Happy New Year James and all. I hope for close racing next year, not just between Fernando and Kimi!


I actually don´t believe in “grey areas”. Rules are rules, and when they don´t rule something, everyone is free to do anything. Of course rules can have an spirit, but when rules are writen, aproved and put into enforcement, they are “LAW”. People can see rules in different ways, and that is because rules are not (like anything a man does) error free.


How about “Six Degrees of Interpretation”?


Mr.James Allen once again thank you very much for your site and wishing you and all a Happy and Wonderful New Year.

Am looking forward to this season and I will not agree with what Newey says. As usual we will know after the first three races or maybe much more this year.


Hi James,

Thanks for a great site. I think we all appreciate the time you put in given how busy you must be around race weekends especially. Good to hear a mobile version is in the works; just as long as the comments section is easy to read too.

Only change I would suggest is inviting a guest blogger on every other week for a post. Could be anyone, someone in F1, or even a fan who can write. There are many interesting and varied perspectives out there; as long as you can find people who are like-minded and keep with the themes and style of your content it would be a good addition.


We have some plans along those lines, yes.

We already started with Ed Gorman, ex Times journo, who will do more in 2014


Best site by miles and miles. (Well done on mastermind)


One has to keep this in perspective, look who is doing the talking. “Challenging” in Adrian Newey’s vocabulary probably translates to excruciatingly difficult to those mere mortals in other teams.


I think Neweys main strenght is to get the base of the car right. When you have the base right you just develop the car searching for perfection. Just look at the last five years. Red Bull has basically started each season with an improved evolution of last years car. Other teams have made drastical changed to their cars year on year.

I think the ability to engineer in scope for quick development is Neweys main strenght. That’s probably why he’s late finishing the car too. If he spots a good idea during testing you can be sure Red Bull will fit their car with a similar device rather quickly. He gets the base of the car right with lost of scope for development. The rest is all about adding on, removing and fine tuning. That’s the reason Red Bull Are able to win the development-race year after year. Their base construction is easier to develop than other teams cars.

Red Bull might not be the quickest out of the box, but I wouldn’t be surprized if they grow stronger and stronger during the season.


James, have been trying to submit with no success, usually have no problems


Yeah, a couple weeks back I had that happen for a few days straight – hit Submit, the page reloads…and then nothing.

Very frustrating!


Here you are!


I guess I was trying to do several posts at once, without first refreshing the page, took me all night to figure that out (I guess I am too old for modern technology)

Best regards and keep us informed through the winter doldrums as usual, jaonf1 is the only way to survive the off season


happy new year james and to you, reading this. let’s hope 2014 provides us with better stories to share.


We will find the answer in 73 days.


Hi James,

As usual, well done.A first class blog. My first stop for F1 info.

A thought: No doubt the top teams throughout the season are calculating and recalculating the mathematical probabilities of winning the championship, and the constructors title. Is it possible, perhaps from the halfway/two thirds point, to have a running total of probabilities as a graph or similar?

Thanks for all the interesting info.


I think I see what you’re saying here. A similar chart for 2013 would look something like this:


Sebastian Vettel – 100%

Fernando Alonso – No Chance

Mark Webber – No Chance

Lewis Hamilton – No Chance

Kimi Räikkönen – No Chance

Nico Rosberg – No Chance

Romain Grosjean – No Chance

Felipe Massa – No Chance

Jenson Button – No Chance

Nico Hulkenberg – No Chance

Sergio Perez – No Chance

Daniel Ricciardo – No Chance

Jean-Eric Vergne – No Chance

Esteban Gutierrez – No Chance

Valtteri Bottas – No Chance

Pastor Maldonado – No Chance

Jules Bianchi – No Chance

Charles Pic – No Chance

Giedo van der Garde – No Chance

Max Chilton – No Chance


Red Bull – 100%

Mercedes – No Chance

Ferrari – No Chance

Lotus – No Chance

McLaren – No Chance

Force India – No Chance

Sauber – No Chance

Toro Rosso – No Chance

Williams – No Chance

Marussia – No Chance

Caterham – No Chance


You have far too much free time available 🙂


Not really – surprisingly the research didn’t take that long 😉


Hahahahaha. How very true.Simplifies the calculations somewhat.

Was it 2011 or 12 that championship was anybody’s guess? here’s hoping for the same in ’14.


In recent years 2010 and 2012 were both very close – 2011 was a Vettel whitewash.

In 2014 I think a lot will depend on reliability, but we’ll see what happens 🙂


Happy New Year James!


Happy happy new year to all at JAonF1. You are great!

Concerning 2014, I still think that aero rule changes could have been more aggressive. Some interesting changes concerning aero went back to the drawer. Maybe FIA is keeping some ammunition for 2015 if things don’t go as planned (RBR and Vettel winning WDC and WCC with 4 races spare) in 2014.

I have some friends that like the sport but don’t feel so excited about it because there is not much fighting for 1st places and WDC. I tell them that position fighting from 2nd-10th has been great in most races but that does not seem to bring them to the front of TV to watch live races. Let’s hope 2014 bring them to that.


It would be great if readers from outside the British isles were eligible to enter your competitions. Such a development would further expand the appeal of this site outside the UK.


“F1′s popularity has been hit by the domination by Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull”

Really? Got a source for that? The number of viewers has declined somewhat, but I know of nothing which attributes this to Vettel and/or Red Bull. I’d say that DRS and farcical tyres are having a bigger negative impact.


I have to disagree, from the comments made in my social group (mixture of non F1 fans, casual F1 fans and F1 nuts) people have been commenting a lot about how boring Vettels dominance is than DRS or tyres


Lower availability of free TV coverage can’t help either.


I’d say your wrong, only fans of the regular winner enjoy a long run of near domination.


Happy new year James and to your team, best F1 site on the web,

You asked for suggestions, to be honest i think your doing a great job but as your asking it would be cool to read a post race tech general review of upgrades teams bring to each race


I also think this sounds like a great idea although how easy it is to implement I imagine will be very challenging as most of the teams probably try to hide what updates they have brought to the track. Most of the aero updates are very visible but the others are not so easy to see


A basic list of the teams and their upgrades &/or suspected developments as part of the strategy report would be good.