JULY 4, 2010
Newey gift is symbolic
Red Bull Racing left no doubt of the high regard in which they hold technical chief Adrian Newey when they presented the design ace with a 2009 RB5 chassis, which he is driving at the Goodwood festival in England this weekend.
Team principal Christian Horner succeeded where Jaguar failed in luring Newey from McLaren and there is little doubt that the man who is reputed to be the best aerodynamicist in the business has played a key part in elevating Red Bull to their current level as championship contenders.
Horner believes that the RB5 chassis which won five races for the team last year, is a significant milestone in the team's history and therefore an appropriate item to give to Newey, along with a set of overalls and helmet, and, "a set of spares, just in case!"
A moved Newey commented: "The fact that the guys have given up a weekend to come down and run it for me, is fantastic.
"I was nervous before my first run because I've never driven a car with a hand clutch before and had never left-foot braked apart from in a kart “ but it's really fantastic to drive. A slight fright was that I wasn't prepared for how long first gear was, so as I was pulling out of the paddock it was pushing me on a lot. I was saying to myself, 'hand clutch, hand clutch!' but the automatic reaction is to go for the left foot!
"I went up the hill on wet tyres so it was a gentle drive but it's just so great to be in the car and it was a great noise from inside.
"The plan now is to club together with some other guys I know who are lucky enough to have cars, and hire a circuit, preferably a modern one with a lot of run-off where I can enjoy driving the car without worrying about having a spin in front of the crowd."
Newey is the second technical chief to experience F1 life from the sharp end recently, with Lotus chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne recently enjoying an iconic Lotus 49 from the cockpit at a Lotus special celebration day at Snetterton.