Red Bull facing Daunting Season of Catch Up, says design chief Newey
Red Bull Racing
Posted By: Declan Quigley  |  12 Jan 2015   |  6:33 pm GMT  |  84 comments

Adrian Newey expects that Red Bull will still be playing catch up to Mercedes again this year, with a less potent power unit and he also admits that Sebastian Vettel is taking useful knowledge to Ferrari this year.

The renowned design chief, who is stepping back from day-to-day involvement in F1, having overseen the design of this year’s Red Bull car, believes that the task of closing the gap to world champions Mercedes remains an arduous one. This is despite a recent breakthrough for the Renault and Ferrari-powered teams, with a loophole which means they can develop the hybrid power unit in certain areas throughout the season.

“Can Renault and Ferrari get to Mercedes’ level? It’s going to be a very difficult challenge – and of course we don’t know where Honda are going to come in,” Newey told Sky Sports

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“With a slightly weaker engine but a superior chassis you can still win and vice versa. We have a reasonably even balance between engine and chassis – which, in my view, is how it should be.” 

And Newey said he felt the Mercedes power unit was the key factor in the Williams team’s resurgence last year.

“Clearly, last year was engine-dominated and we saw that with Williams springing forward. Obviously Williams did a very job but I think what really made the difference for them was the engine.”

That said, the Mercedes chassis was clearly very efficient aerodynamically and worked as a package with the hybrid turbo power unit. It had good rear end downforce, which had been cut by new regulations cutting the rear wings. A series of updates throughout the year brought additional downforce and performance.

Red Bull had to compensate for the lower power output by compromising on downforce levels compared with previous years.

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Meanwhile Sebastian Vettel’s move to Ferrari means the four-time world champion is bringing important knowledge out of Red Bull, believes Newey.

“He wants to stretch his wings and discover other things. It’s a natural curiosity in life to find out how you can perform in different environments. I can understand why he has moved. 

“He’s a very bright guy and unfortunately I am sure he will bring things to Ferrari that we rather he didn’t, but we understand.” 

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Is this Newey’s side project?

Gotta love the rekindled pioneer spirit of WEC


Red Bull ain’t losing anything with Seb’s departure. Except maybe a great number 2 to Ricciardo. Seb drove great cars in the V8 era as well as anybody it seems, but these lower grip turbos aren’t for him.

If Red Bull are truly concerned about playing catch up then rip up the contract you have with Renault and sign up to use Merc engines instead.


IMO Honda engine won’t be McLarens saving grace.. The late 80s was such a long time ago looking at that as justification for their possible success is far fetched.. If anything you must look at Hondas more recent years in f1, 2007 or 2008 for example, those were very weak years and in 2009 when they got a hold Mercedes engine – and they won.. Again this is judging before Honda gets a chance to prove themselves but they been out of the game for almost 6 years, its a hell of a long time to have a vacation, come back, and expect impressive results..


I don’t agree with your full comment. Honda itself might not save them indeed, but remember that Alo will bring tech from Ferrari and Podromu tech from RB. The last probably a little less, but that extra input from 2 different teams might help Honda not to pick the wrong strategy which is critical in the development program. Here it is where they will be able to solve/avoid problems before they will occur (or at least minimize them), whereas other teams had to deal and solve last year.

Judging Honda in their last previous years doesn’t mean anything. As Newey said, you need to find a balance between the engine and the chassis to make things work. There were other things that weren’t working there. I doubt there will be lack of power ( I am pretty sure Alonso has asked about it if you catch my drift), the only way they can screw it up is to develop an unreliable engine which is indeed plausible.

You can have an Enzo in your garage, but it won’t go 150 if you put bicycle wheels on it…



If you were to hazard a guess, what areas could you imagine Vettel telling Ferrari they are years behind Red Bull? And will he be in a position to shout and look for changes?

Obviously you aren’t inside the team but from your experience of Italy and all things Ferrari what can you imagine happening???


I cant complain in recent years,i backed vetel in all 4 seasons of his 4 timer and netted me around 10 grand in winnings(lucky in a way but said from the start he could dominate for years and he did) I backed lewis this year after gettin 5to1 at the start,What a price that was!,i stil think super seb is a great driver.

My money is on Rosberg this year,he will be more hungry than Lewis.

Ferrari struggles to continue and a big ask for Mclaren to be Competetive straght away but could win 1or2 later in the calender.

Top 3 Rosberg,lewis,Riccardo.


I doubt Ferrari will be able to capitalize in any means on whichever information Vettel brings to them.

They simply never take advantage of things like this. It’s easier for them to influence FIA to do the things they want.

And with Mr. Ecclestone vomiting stupid things like “we don’t need small teams, we need teams like Ferrari” this gets even stronger.


Do not underestimate the importance of how tight you tighten the screws… it can do wonders and where you place the,. Those Newey RB’s have some magic in them, including the aero and their chassis no one ever saw “in detail” from inside out.

FIA manipulation, yes I agree a bit but not that much atm. With LdM gone, I don’t think they will be as political as before.


Mercedes juggernaut wont sit still and with Nico Rosberg much wiser for being so close in 2014 will ensure the thrust is even stronger- Lewis will want his 3rd before Nando and that will really make me smile.

I really hope Im wrong but I think whatever gains in PU Red Bull make wont be matched by Aero gains to the chassis with the loss of Prodromou. Perhaps they will “hold ground” with minor changes to the brilliant RB10 aero- but really looking forward to Kvyat and Ricciardo driving that cars wings off- this will be the paring to watch.

Im just not prepared to undervalue Mclaren Honda – there are alot of ifs- but Im certain they would have done their homework on the PU through 2014 and it was very clear once Peter Prodromou came back to Mclaren the aero updates worked brilliantly– I think maybe this guy was the hands on genius at RBR. Honda must get releiability ahead of wheres the other 3 were last year and they will be close to the front by end of year.

Ferrari -what a joke. After 4 years of working and failing with pullrod front suspension – Arrivabene and Marchionne arrive on the scene too late to change the design direction of the 2015 car!-People talk about too much axe swinging- I tell you – No way on gods green earth would I let Fry/ Tombazis or Alonso – have any design input into the 2015 car– Absolutely staggering – too little too late. I cant imagine what 2 drivers with sensitive feel for a car are going to do with a car that lacks it.. But I think Raikkonen will have the early advantage here having already developed significant improvements to that area in 2014. Seb will catch him mid season and they will both push Ferrari closer to Red Bull. Interestingly Ferrari use the same external engine consiltants as RBR to develop their PU .I think Red Bull / Ferrari/ Mclaren/ Williams will converge after summer break -we will see good close racing from them if not sooner. But sadly Im seeing Williams go back slightly if anything – this is where the big dollars buy you the extra 1/10 in the podium fight. Hope this is not the case but I can also see Felipe over driving it trying to catch Weeks to stop the guessing!


Toto Wolff could give Williams the best engine instead of a slower one to help his wife. If Susie is on the top places at the winter testing it will be a boost for her career and she could get a driving seat next year.


They already have the best engine!


Exactly. Even the onboard sound it makes was different from the ones on Mclaren and Force India.

Williams’s engine was on par, or almost, with the works team spec.


I think her Superlisence will not be efficient in 2016


based on all the info currently at hand and discounting some of the rumours that have been touted, as just that, rumours, it is hard to believe that mercedes wont have similar margins over all the other teams as they did last year.

the sheer wealth of talent available from within the mercedes empire is mind boggling. never mind the actual team [and the ilmor chappies, a total of around 1150 people] the mercedes empire will be available for whatever purposes are needed. i don’t see any other team with such superpower to exploit. yes, smaller teams can make discoveries as well, but the likelihood of this happening relative to mercedes is minimal.

adrian newey made comments re his change of status within red bull, that he felt that the constraints on development were becoming too restrictive and took away most of the challenges that were his ‘bread and butter’. that is F1’s loss.

i would rarely try and forecast what will happen in any season especially since not one wheel has turned. however i do feel that it would rather safe to predict that mercedes will take both championships again and that will be a massive downer, for me and for F1.


It’s a downer if Mercedes win at all, or just if they win going away? If you’re after a close-fought battle, and that’s what excites you, then what’s it matter if Mercedes win in the end? Are you a homer cheering for Ricciardo? No probs with that at all, but I guess I’m just not clear on what your perfect scenario is.


@ ben….you are probably right insofar as honda would have a great deal of personnel working on this project but where the major difference lies between them and mercedes is that they, honda, do not build a car and therefore do not have the same synergy that mercedes have as they are all one and the same. it is team mercedes…versus mclaren/honda.


Do Honda not have a similarly large pool of talent to call on? And they are engine specialists!



Agree with you re Merc and their engine performance.

Sympathize with you re Merc dominance even thought RBR took 4 in a row there was alot of excitement particularly in two seasons.

At least Merc let their two drivers race so it was still

a very exciting title race. unlike the Schumacher years at Ferrari.

However the Rosberg/Hamilton battle will not be much fun for you….I will love it!!!!!!!!

Lets hope you are wrong and others catch up!!


@ buzzzzzz…..yes, if you are a supporter then things must be just fine. as for me well i am just relying on the fact that adrian newey has had his hands all over this years new car and some of his magic may rub off and ricciardo can actually fight it out at the front.

my greatest fear is that mercedes have all the aces tucked up their sleeves and it wouldn’t surprise me to see some of the others improve and mercedes go one step further each time that happens. i guess all will be revealed in the coming months.

as for mercedes letting their drivers race i am not so sure of this. up front, yes, wolff made his statements over and over that this was the case but i fear that he was ‘over egging’ the whole business. up until spa i would say possibly they were allowed to race but post spa rosberg,IMO, was just not the same driver. i refer especially to the ‘monza’ giveaway in particular. now, very few people would agree with me on this and that is fine. i just feel that rosberg was not the same and it certainly showed. rosberg’s demeanour post monza was not what i would’ve expected. he almost looked relieved that he had been beaten!!!!

anyway, that’s all history now. can’t wait for the lights to go out in melbourne.


Without Adrian right in the mix I think Red Bull could well slip back. Mercedes will obviously be the leaders of the pack again, with Williams hopefully able to maintain there performance level. Ferrari need another year to build I think, but for me, many seem to be writing off McLaren unnecessarily.

They must have some of the Red Bull “secrets” off Peter Prodromou. Honda will surely be able to get their engine to a similar performance level as the Merc – why should they suffer with terrible reliability. Most of the others didn’t last year. Then again, McLaren have been using the Merceds engine for the last 12 months – don’t tell me they haven’t given Honda all the info they can. Then of course they have Fernando – and that will make Jenson thrive, as he did when paired with Lewis……. and won’t it be great to get rid of all that boring silver grey. Interesting to know what colour it will be – wonder if James knows? Bring it on. I say!!


Praying all you are saying will happen


I hope Redbull can give Dan Riccardo a car to challenge up front. He was awesome last season and can overtake as good as anyone. But then again I hope Williams continue on there way as well. I hope the Honda kicks a few goals too. As for Ferrari it might well be a disaster. There two drivers got belted last year and you can’t see anyone in that team who truly believes that they are going to win this season. Its funny in formula 1 I always change teams in no other sport do i do that…. Bring on 2015.


With way weaker engine RB had victories in 2014. In 2015 the power gap will be smaller, hence RB could challenge for more victories than in 2014. I bet RB will have the pace. Who is unknown but promising is Wiliams. They definitely improved and it seems like solid systematic improvement, not occasional show up. Interesting how RB and Williams will match each other. Newey already invented something and plays his words about the gap to the Merc!

Ferrari will be slow at the beginning. McLaren will be unreliable. Worst thing ever, McLaren pilots will have to go slowly because of reliability risks…


I don’t understand why people think that Renault and Ferrari power will have caught the Mercedes power unit up so much??? Mercedes have always been the strongest manufacturer of Hybrid systems since the advent of KERS. Do you really think they will have stood still in their development? They may homogolise their new power unit sooner than the others but I think we could see even stronger dominance this year.


The closer you get to the maximum, the smaller the steps. Mercedes started on a high level, so there is less room for improvement. Whatever Mercedes can do to improve will be less than the competition. Which means the competition will inevitably catch up, if the rules don’t change.


Daniel’s victories came courtesy of three Mercedes misfortunes – reliability in Canada, Safety car lottery in Hungary and the Spa incident. They would not have beaten them otherwise.

It’s unfortunate that they cannot develop the engines in season because this will again be another predictable season. At least during the RB dominated years, there were no “aero development” freeze and we had seasons where championships came down to the wire because teams were able to catch up through aero upgrades and innovation.

That won’t happen for a long time because of the engine freeze rule.


@ Ben. That is a loophole and I believe it is not for the entire season. What I meant was in season development of engine that will coincide with aero developments. No freeze on both like the old days.


Have you not heard about the engine loophole that will allow engine development through out the season this year???


Neither Button or Alonso will be going slowly (or at least not on purpose), so if the engine does go bang that’s just something for Honda to sort out.


I believe RedBull will match Mercedes in 2015 from 5th or 6th race.


Not exactly surprising, but I don’t think Newey gives the Mercedes chassis enough credit (nor Williams for that matter). It’s not like Mercedes powered teams were 1-2-3-4 in the championship, the chassis clearly plays a very important role in the final performance.

Also, with the obvious benefits of integration, trying to split the cars into “chassis” vs “engine” is a moot point anyway. You do what you can to get the best overall package.


Why should Newey give Williams or anyone chassis credit when you yourself said Mercedes powered cars did not come 1,2,3 &4. That & fact Red Bull missed more track testing / race starts in the first 4-5 races than anyone due to PU failures! – its incredibile that they finished where they did!

Its quite astonishing that most people here have forgotten the cold hard facts of the early part of 2014. Well done to Williams but this love affair with them is really getting blown out of proportion. For goodness sakes Red Bull finished 2nd comfortably despite Sebs 5th place and the above issues. Yeah, yeah we know budget etc but they couldnt have finished any higher. Could they !- think about it FMD- you people have lost plot.!


No, “us people” have done nothing of the sort. All I said was citing the fact that Williams’ competitiveness is all down to a Mercedes engine doesn’t stack up, when they are the team that has the strongest case for chassis improvement (jumping from fourth best Mercedes-powered team to second).

Also, and I know this is going to prove unpopular, but the fact Red Bull won three races this year to William’s zero is largely down to luck. Ricciardo won three races sure, but in each of them he was there to pick up the pieces when Mercedes his trouble (the double ERS failures in Canada, Hamilton’s engine fire and the very fortuitously timed safety car in Hungary, the collision in Spa). All told, I think Red Bull were best non-Mercedes team in 9 races this year, compared to 7 for Williams. If the Mercs had had a double ERS failure in Austria/Silverstone/Germany etc then we would have had a much greater Williams renaissance than we had, and the gap to Red Bull would have been even closer.

And the lack of early season testing of Red Bull compared to Williams is again overstated, Red Bull got to grips with their car far quicker than Williams. They were best of the rest behind Mercedes in the majority of the races up until Austria. Some additional testing wouldn’t have lifted them significantly closer to Mercedes or significantly further away from Williams.


Look the Williams chassis was good for the budget they have and they deserve a real pat on the back. But Williams chassis was miles away from the Red Bull/ Merc chassis. Williams only speed advantage was on the big open circuits where top speed mattered- they ran a slippery aero with low downforce which often made them a match for the Merc – but they had no real downforce compared to Merc/ RBR and even Ferrari most times. This was also why they tended to scrub their soft/ Ss more quickly than others.Ferraris aero was no bad it was more the balance of the chassis and the suspension that caused them issues with this years pirellis- that made them both the overdrive the tyres to compensate for a weak and heavy PU also!


I never said Williams was a match for Red Bull or Mercedes, but that doesn’t negate the original point, which is that there was more to 2014 than Mercedes engine > Renault/Ferrari engine. The Mercedes works team increased their advantage massively over all the other Mercedes powered teams. Williams made a huge jump forward, sure, but most tellingly they moved up the Mercedes pecking order, from fourth to second. For everything that was said during the year, McLaren and Force India didn’t change in the competitive order at all (they finished 5th and 6th). In fact, Williams’ renaissance in 2014 is a strong argument that chassis was more important than engine, not the other way around.


As the works Renault team, RBR had the opportunity for a perfectly integrated system of PU and chassis, but both sides blew it.

I hate this entitlement mentality that seems to exist at Red Bull now. Winning races and finishing a comfortable second behind one of the most dominant cars of all time is still a good season. And spare me the old “second is the first loser” line. It’s honestly lame and modern F1 is much bigger than that.


I was going to say the same about the Williams team. Good point


Agree on your Williams comment. Given their budget is significantly less than RB and Mercedes, its a difficult pill for senior team members to swallow and easy for them to just dismiss it as “not having the right engine”! That just diverts the blame for their underperformance.


Yes I agree, but I don’t think there was even that much of an underperformance. They were the only other team to win a race. The biggest let down in the team had to be Vettal.


If the engine loophole allows Renault and Ferrari to close the gap significantly, then we have a great 2015 F1 season ahead of us. Vettel and RBR secrets should allows some breather at Ferrari and help the rejuvenated Ferrari F1 team. Hopefully Ferrari should return to the top rung shortly. At least Mercedes must not have a great an advantage as they did in 2014. Well, Honda, we don’t know as yet, maybe a dark horse, but maybe bitten by the engine loophole, the FIA not allowing the engine loophole bit.


Lowe brought McLaren secrets to Merc. Prodromou also brought RB secrets to McLaren. And Morris brought Sauber secrets to McLaren (same quick Sauber in which Perez overtook Alonso two years ago). They all know many secrets already.


Well I’m sure Newey et al will find all the loop holes to try & catch up with the Mercs.

RBR will try & sneak more tweaks than their token allocations & try pass the scrutineers checks.

Hopefully they’ll be caught out in testing, if anything dodgy is amiss, rather than in the season .

The Merc teams should have excelled, in improving the engine advancements further in 2015.

So I assume they’ll still have the upper hand.


Red snail racing will have their engine tightly packaged in the shell on the slug chassis and re-introduce the coanda effect to the helix exit ! Im booked on the first turtle out to australia to attend the slug grand prix ! Leaving tomorrow. 🙂


I’ve said it all along. If the red bull had a merc engine plugged into the back of it then they would of won another championship. I think red bull still has slightly the best aero package of all the cars last year followed by merc and then probably Ferrari n


I definitely agree with that if Red Bull were down 80-100 bhp and they still won 3 races its not hard to imagine they would have won alot more with even half that deficit. We all saw what RBR did with anout 40less bhp over the last 4 years- sure the aero regs were diff but Im certain Neweys RB10 was as good as any other chassis ever made.- taking absolutely nothing away fron Ricciardo – he did a great job


I’m not so sure about Ferrari, but the rest is definitely true.


I wish Adrian still had something left to prove and joined Vettel at Ferrari. Some people will never accept he is a top driver, might as well steal the titles away from the drivers they think are.

Fernando 150% Alonso

You’re right! winning again in a Newy car will prove us all how genius driver he is 😉

Fernando 150% Alonso

I read all the comments usualy, and not only once, and yes, you’re spot on. Vettel will never be WDC material in my eyes 😉


I didn’t say any such thing. I’m glad you replied to me because you are one of those whom I mentioned “will never accept Vettel as a top driver” so at this point I rather just see him win. Newey designed car or not. Please see my reply to buzzzzz above your original comment for more explanation.


So you are saying Vettel needs a Newey designed car with a blown rear diffuser to be successful?

You have to face facts and realise that Vettel’s reputation has taken a huge dent this season.

What he needs to do to restore that situation is to be successful in a non Newey car and show that he can drag a dog of a car to perform.

Which is what Alonso and Hamilton can do!



Alonso has said that Hamilton is the only driver on the grid who can win in a car that is not the best apart from himself!


“Hamilton is no Alonso”

that’s true in that Hamilton does not require No 1 status within the team.

Its well known that both drivers can handle out of balance cars……and when they were in the same team there was almost no difference between them……apart from Hamilton was a rookie.


Exactly, that dent it is rightfully deserved. I hear things as he couldn’t simply adapt to the car while Ric could (well under the pretext he was used to tires), yet that is not exactly what you would expect from a 4 times WC. Well, personally I only said this and some laughed a me; Marko is not around this time…

You’ve said it yourself, he needs to pull and Ham/Alo action and if he cannot do that, this year it simply implies that he cannot carry a team to the top but quite otherwhise. Personally and many ppl around me do not think he will win another WC.

I am still surprised to see ppl rising him instead Newey. It is quite obvious to see where the success is coming from and if Vettel will not do wonders this year, his rep will stir a lot of drama. Point is, Ferrari should have never left Alonso go.

But Vettel knows that too well that RB without Newey will never win the title and logically he took that (smart) chance of taking the bucks from Ferrari as a trade for RB’s success yet hoping for another chance there. It will not happen.

From his perspective, I don’t see him rising Ferrari nowhere near where Merc is.

I wonder how mcl/honda will be in 2016. I think they are the big underdogs and 2016 will be the year to watch for. 2015 it’s Merc anyway… with last being said, I think they will be the ones to beat by that time.


Absolutely Vettel’s reputation has taken a hit. Even in my eyes as a huge fan of him. But regardless of how the year would have went it wouldn’t have changed anyone’s mind. If he beat Ricciardo the way we all expected it to go, everyone would clamor about “Of course Vettel beat a rookie! Makes sense Vettel would want him as a teammate instead of Alonso.”

Hamilton decimated Rosberg this season yet all I could hear about is “how close it was”. The only thing impressive Rosberg did was his performance in qualifying.

People will believe what they want to believe. You are right that is what Vettel needs to do, but it’s not going to make a huge difference. t’s better for me to just see him win and let the haters hate.


sorry but hamilton hasnt proved that. him winning in late 2010 was just because of Mclaren intense development. sorry Hamilton is no Alonso


Interesting article. It appears to confirm that multiple homologate engines will be allowed this season with a maximum of four per engine manufacturer. This should go a long way toward increasing the likelihood that Ferrari and Renault can play some degree of catch up with Mercedes if they have the will to do so. Vetel and Vergne must be bringing huge amounts of valuable data to Ferrari especially as concerns Red Bulls young driver program. Every team should be looking to do as Red Bull have done saving millions of dollars by developing and harnessing driver talent in house.


Why is everyone banging on about only four engines… with twenty races on the calendar it’s back to five engines.


I think the limit is two homologations, last years and at some point in the year a new one.


Its very straightfoward. Teams have 32 tokens to develop last years homologated engines. The clarification of the rules was on the basis of no fixed date for homologation- so teams can continue adding tokens of development as long as they like but they must homologate 1 thats ONE & only one engine for 2015.

Of course they would want to develop the PU as quickly as possibly so as not to be left behind by Mercedes. I guess it all depends on how much power/ driveability they think they can gain by waiting a few races longer. Noone would want to wait longer than Barcelona I would think -equally not sure anyone other than Mercedes can delay at all – given the big advantage they had.. Im guessing we will find out very soon given Jerez is only 3weeks awsy!


Yes I’m not sure that is how it works. It seems very unlikely that Ferrari and Renault would push so hard to allow themselves to start the season with their 2014 engine and then introduce one upgraded 2015 engine later in the season. I fail to see how this would benefit them in any way. I believe the rules will allow for four homologate engines. If Mercedes is ahead they can rest on their laurels if the others are behind they can spend millions trying to find the winningest use of their 32 tokens!


Precisely. And each driver is still limited to four PU serial numbers, so the later the 2015 homologation happens, the more races the drivers have to run on the un-upgraded units.

It gives Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari a bit more time, but honestly, I expect all three to homologate right around the Spanish Grand prix in early May.

Even then, there is a risk that there’s a problem with the 2015 power unit that won’t be exposed without substantial testing– which gives even more credence to the idea of the engines being homologated right after the first in-season test at Barcelona.


They can only use 32 tokens and so can Merc so doubt they will catch up!


@wade parmino/ Kenneth Chapman- its a very valid point in ref to the law of diminishing returns. Despite the fact we dont know specifically at what stage of development the PU is at – its fair to say after 3 years,1 billion dollars and a somewhat restrictive rulebook- the development will start to dramatically taper after this year and this is reflected in the reduced token allocations each year.

Whilst people can quote Wikipedia in terms of the diminishing returns, as an economics student its interesting to note its broader real life application in many industries. More specifically in production processes -car manufacturing plants Is the perfect eg-eg hiring another 50 factory workers will produce no extra through-put per hour, or not improve the quality of the product manufactured. Having worked for a billion dollar manufacturing co in the early 90’s it was something we often measured & adjusted production periodically.Its also relevant to Mercedes and its 1150 work force, and the production and quality maintenance of 32 PU and spares for 8 different teams. and the significant investment they’ve already put into the technology.

Its fair to say Mercedes will be strong for another few years but anyone in suggesting robust tech discussion or otherwise, that they will dominate to 2020 is very premature esoecially if rules happen to change again to “improve the show”. How many predicted in 2008 that Brawn GP would be on the grid in 2009 let alone winning the championship.. Keep reading Kenneth you may even find some strong tech robust debate that disciplining your children is bad for them only to find out its totally wrong a week later depending which debate you wish to join.


@ wade parminio…the law of diminishing returns is normally assigned to the analysis of economics. many principles of this law are expounded in terms of farming practices but can be assigned to a whole lot more processes.

however to apply this to the performance of an F1 PU is stretching it a bit. there is no way that you could know whether or not the mercedes PU is anywhere near its maximum potential or what that relativity is to the other manufacturers.

your assumptions that because they are in such a dominant position now means that they have less development potential cannot be stated. it may well be that within the ‘current PU’ there are features which cannot be either known by the other teams or even if they know they cannot change because the development tokens do not cover that aspect of the PU.

this has been covered in robust discussion on various technical sites where it has been said that mercedes may well have covered themselves so well within the basic structure that they cannot be caught within the 2020 end date. others may close the gap but that is an unknown at this stage.

it is possible that others may well be able to improve in other areas that not so stringently covered and aero may yet play a more dominant part in the overall performances. that is also just conjecture.


Wade they may be at 7/10’s

HOWEVER they can only use 32 tokens on this update which may only take them to 8/10’s.

It might take the use of 100 tokens to get to 10/10’s but they can only use 32 this year.

Plus Merc have 32 tokens to use for improvement.

The consensus in the Paddock seems to think that Merc will not be disadvantaged at all by the change in homologation date and the use of the tokens.


Ever heard of the concept of diminishing returns. Mercedes have less to gain whereas everyone else has boundless room for improvement. Mercedes will have a far more difficult time finding areas to improve because they are already in a very dominant position. Mercedes could be at, for example, 9 out of 10 of their maximum potential. Other teams may be at 6 or 7 out of 10. So Red bull or Ferrari or Williams may develop up to an 8 or 9 out of 10 for themselves while Mercedes moves up to 9.4 out of 10. The relative gap will have closed.

I certainly hope the others catch up. Even McLaren, for Alonso’s sake.


Perhaps time to follow Sebastian to Ferrari . The two had a special rapport and ,quite honestly, RB’s time to shine has come and gone.


Adrian Newey won’t go to Ferrari until things have settled down. Nigel Roebuck was saying that Dominicalli had got him quite interested, until he suddenly disappeared at which point Adrian went,”No thanks”.

Bold claim about Red Bull…


He did allegedly have an agreement with Montezemolo back in April/May to join but as soon as a little birdie whispered it to a reporter and reports about the move started to emerge he said no.

Presumably, after that Red Bull might have given him a raise and tried to accommodate his desire to be involved in other projects so why move now? Unless Ferrari make him a nauseatingly high offer, I don’t think he will move to Italy any time soon.



Absolutely right! MS or Newey. The only way to WDC glory since ’96. Too true, too true.

…Unless the year was ’05, ’06, ’07, ’08, ’09, or ’14. ;-D



Iffy record? That’s why from ’96 onwards the only way to win WDC was to be sat in a Newey car or be called Michael Schumacher.. Even average driver Jacques Villeneuve won WDC because he was in Newey rocketship 2 second per lap faster than Schumachers Ferrari


Apparently Ldm offered him “an open cheque book” so I dont think thats it.

I believe he didnt think Ferrari were willing to change their way at that time. Especially since someone must have blabbed to the reporter. Maybe with Marchionne / Arrivabene settling in he may reconsider, but Im guessing hes finishing off his projects first .


Brawn had a fair few terrible lean years himself – everyone does. Not sure you can compare a people manager with an aero genius though. Their roles are almost as different as an MD and a CEO…


@Blackmamba – You what? Newey won more constructors titles with Williams than he has with Red Bull, and then there’s his successes with McLaren as well. Brawn is a legend, but there is no question that Newey is the more succesful individual of the two.


I think Ferrarri should do whatever they can to get Ross Brawn instead of Newey. People forget Newey had an iffy record before the Red Bull years whereas Brawn has had consistent success throughout his career. 9 championship years speak for themselves and he is a much better all-rounder where Newey has only one area of expertise.


Reports say he was on the way but a unfortunate incident made him think again.


Adrian Newey has in the past denied interest in moving on to other F-1 teams only to do exactly that. Why would he now stay at Red Bull when Ferrari beckons?


Well, they beat 3 out of 4 Merc-powered teams last year . . .

So I won’t be surprised if they match that achievement in 2015.

Ricciardo might even be a stronger title contender.


If Red Bull could even just get level with the best performing car(s) next season; given good reliability, I think Ricciardo would be champion. For me, he was the driver of the year last season.


It was amazing how they came back from zero in winter testing last year to winning 3 grands prix. That was quite an almighty reversal of fortune and this year they are starting from a solid base so it should be relatively easier to challenge Merc!


I suspect Williams will be more competitive this year. Force India seems to lack development ability, and Lotus is a total question mark– I think they spent too long trying to make the Renault engine and the two prong nose work (and possibly explaining all the blinking lights to Maldonado).

I think the order initially will be Mercedes, followed by Williams, Red Bull, and McLaren… and then Lotus and Ferrari.

I don’t think Ferrari will have recovered from their circular firing squad exercise of the past year until mid-summer at the earliest.

I do think the combination of Prodomou, Alonso and Honda have the potential to produce a remarkable turnaround at McLaren.


No, Honda is not banned from mid-season testing. Honda has to deliver their 2015 engine by March 1st.

The other engine manufacturers can deliver the 2014 engine until they think their 2015 engine is ready, but as I’ve said elsewhere, there’s some risk in doing that.

Delivering an engine which hasn’t actually seen track test time is a shaky proposition– if there’s a flaw you’ve missed, you (and your customer teams) are stuck with an unreliable engine, unless you can petition the FIA, and the grounds for the petition would have to be “we didn’t bother testing our engine”.

The real question for Honda is, did they produce an engine that is competitive with the 2014 Mercedes engine? If not, then they only have themselves to blame.


Honda will be disadvantaged by FIA allowing mid season testing for all teams bar Honda. Hoping McLaren Honda protest the race unless a compromise is found.

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