APRIL 27, 2005
The future of Adrian Newey
Adrian Newey has been saying for a while now that he would like to have a more normal life, or at least time to discover what it is like when you are not involved in motor racing. There was a brief period in the mid 1990s when Newey had to do a few months of "gardening leave" before he joined McLaren but beyond that Newey has been working non-stop since he graduated from Southampton University. Initially he worked at Fittipaldi Automotive but then joined March in 1981 working in F2 and designed the March GTP sports car which went on to win two successive IMSA titles. He then designed the successful March Indycars which won a series of titles in CART and took victory in the Indianapolis 500. In 1986 he moved to Teddy Mayer's FORCE Formula 1 team and after that went out of business went back to America with Haas until he was rehired by March to become chief designer for the March 881 Formula 1 car. The cars were complicated and did not always work and Newey was dropped in the summer of 1990 but quickly joined Williams and designed the FW14, the first in a family of F1 cars that brought Williams 58 Grand Prix wins, four Drivers' titles and five Constructors' Championships. In 1998 Newey moved to McLaren and his cars won the title for the team in 1998 and 1999. Things have been tougher in recent years because of the dominance of Ferrari and internal politics at McLaren but this year McLaren has a very competitive car. Newey's contract runs out this summer and there are some reports that he has taken a short extension to get to the end of the year and will then decide what he wants to do.
It is not secret that Newey is a fan of yacht racing and has on occasion mulled over the challenge of designing a yacht for the America's Cup. This is not going to happen in time for the next America's Cup in Valencia in the summer of 2007 but there is no reason why Adrian might not be involved in the next Cup in around 2011. He might decide that it would be good to be involved in another form of yachting prior to that, perhaps in something like the Volvo Ocean Race, which is currently going on but will take place again in 2010, prior to the next America's Cup. In terms of design the Volvo boats will need to be designed in 2007 and 2008. The race is headquartered in Southampton.
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