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Engines dominating racing unhealthy, says F1 designer Adrian Newey

After two years of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton dominating Formula One, thanks in large part to the hybrid turbo engine introduced in 2014, the sport finds itself in a rut.

Legendary F1 designer Adrian Newey has called for drastic measures to address the plunging viewing figures, dropping race attendances and unsustainable spending.

“It is important to find the right balance between the chassis, engine and the driver for the sport to be competitive, but right now the engine is dominating, which is unhealthy,” said Newey, in the city with his son Harrison, who will take part in this weekend’s final race of the MRF Challenge.

While Mercedes and Ferrari have competitive engines, Renault and Honda have struggled in the new era and Newey has called for the German and Italian teams to help the others.

For the good of the sport

Newey cited an instance where the greater good of the sport was prioritised over individual success. “Cosworth came with a winning engine in 1967 that was exclusively for use by the Lotus team. It became very clear that the engine was going to be dominant.

“Then, Lotus agreed to waive its exclusivity to allow others to use it for the good of the sport. Unfortunately, that sort of attitude doesn’t seem to exist any more. If the sport is not healthy, what’s the point in winning?”

Newey’s Red Bull Racing stream-rolled to four consecutive titles between 2010 and 2013 with Sebastian Vettel on the basis of its superiority in chassis and aerodynamics; the engine was not a significant factor.

However with new regulations since 2014 and an underpowered Renault engine, Newey is preparing for another painful season. “Our hope for 2016 is to just maintain that gap but with Ferrari and Mercedes expected to step up, towards the end of the year we might be further behind than we were last year.”

Asked whether the team had not taken defeat sportingly, Newey, whose designs have won 10 constructors’ titles with three different teams, said, “Though we managed to win four titles, in 2010 and 2012 the battle went down till the last race.

“Secondly with aero and chassis it is out on view, people can see designs, understand and copy. But with the engine formula you can’t see your competitor’s engine. The only way to catch up is with huge investments and people moving. Ferrari improved from 2014 to 2015 but it cost a lot and needed people from Mercedes.”

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 2:11:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/Engines-dominating-racing-unhealthy-says-F1-designer-Adrian-Newey/article14024777.ece

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