"Our pit stops are still s**t": Former Red Bull driver on Adrian Newey's importance during team's early success

F1 Testing Sessions
Newey and Webber at the F1 Testing Sessions

Former Red Bull driver Mark Webber feels it was important to have Adrian Newey as a part of the team when they first started winning.

The team first started winning in 2009 but it wasn't a race-winning juggernaut that it eventually became. Webber talked about how it was important at this stage for Adrian to jump in and point out areas of improvement.

In 2023, when we talk about Red Bull, we talk about a team that is almost perfect in every manner. The strategy unit hardly ever gets things wrong, the pitstops have been perfect, the drivers get their job and the team performs very well under pressure.

However, this wasn't the case in 2009 when the team just started winning. Mark Webber talked about it with F1.com where he explained how for everybody else but Newey, winning consistently was a new thing.

Webber explained how Newey was the sensible voice here as he pointed out the areas like pitstops and race management where Red Bull still needed to work. Webber said:

"When we started to have early successes, a lot of one-twos, I think that was great for Christian too, because Christian obviously hadn’t experienced that, and Helmut hadn’t experienced that, but Adrian had."
"Adrian was sort of working out, ‘Well, hang on, our pit stops are still s**t, let’s work on those.’ There were always other layers and it was like, ‘Holy hell, when’s this guy going to finish?’"

He added:

“It was just great to have him as the technical spine of the whole department. Of course, he has got other people around him, and he’s a tremendous listener – you don’t have the career that Adrian’s had if an individual like him doesn’t listen."
"I love how understated he is, I love how immensely humble he is. He should be knighted, end of. It’s not even a discussion in my book.”

Webber praises Red Bull Aero chief

Mark Webber talked about how Adrian Newey was a true wizard when it came to car development. He talked about how Newey would come up with some outlandish ideas that would end up finding their way onto the cars. The former Red Bull driver said:

“Some of the ideas he’d bring up just in passing, I was like, ‘Where’s he off to with that?’ and sure enough three months later, it’s at the racetrack in a different sort of guise. He wants to understand, be extremely, extremely open and honest with what the issues are and tackle those head on."
"He continues to understand that yesterday was never good enough, and that’s what I loved about him."

Red Bull gained a lot by having Newey in the team as he had previously tasted success with both Williams and McLaren. That kind of successful experience helped him guide the team to get better.

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Edited by Aditya Singh
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