Currently reading: Exclusive: Adrian Newey details Red Bull RB17 hypercar
We sat down with the F1 designer to find out all we could about his upcoming road car

Red Bull Advanced Technologies has shocked with the news that it will launch a 1250bhp hybrid hypercar in 2025 to rival the Mercedes-AMG One and Gordon Murray T50. 

It is the work of revered F1 engineer Adrian Newey, who is treating the project as a refinement of the ideas contained in the Aston Martin Valkyrie, his first hypercar effort. We sat down with Newey to find out more about how the project came to be, and to get an idea of what to expect. 

How did RB17 come about?

"We've had a lot of interest from people who asked, ‘What's it like to drive a Formula 1 car?'. It started me thinking: ‘How about we develop a two-seater capable of Formula 1 performance levels?'."

When did you start work?

"Christmas period 2020-21."

It coincides with lockdowns and less F1 work as 2021’s regulations were postponed. Is RB17 a Covid baby?

(Smiles) "In the longer terms it was a Covid baby, as you say…"

Why a two-seater if you’re attempting to replicate an F1 experience?

"A two-seater car seems a lot more enjoyable for most people. You might choose to have a coach with you; you can take your [partner], children, whoever you decide as a passenger, so it makes for a more sociable experience."

What are the dimensions and weight, relative to the Aston Martin Valkyrie?

"A little bit bigger because of bigger tires, the wheelbase is a bit longer simply because in chasing a low centre of gravity you end up with the usual [F1] serial packaging problem: where to put the driver, then the fuel tank, then the engine, then energy recovery system, then the gearbox... In truth, the Valkyrie’s wheelbase is a bit too short because it was designed as a road car.

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"We are concentrating hard on weight, we are targeting 900kg plus driver. It’s got two seats and closed bodywork and a closed roof, which cost weight [relative to F1]. You don't have the same degree of lifing as with [F1] components, so you design them to be longer life components. More weight."

Christian (Horner, Red Bull Racing CEO) indicated that the car could break F1 lap records, true?

"Initial simulations show it's certainly in that ballpark, [but] we need to do more work to refine that. But it's RB17 would not disgrace itself on the [F1] grid."

You spoke about skirts and ground effects. Are you concerned about ‘porpoising’ as per F1?

"Porpoising is something we need to study in some detail, but we've tried to design the car in a way that won't result in porpoising. Using active suspension to counteract porpoising is theoretically possible, but it’s best to tackle it as source."

Will you get chassis #1 or #2?

"We’ll have an internal discussion, but I hope to get a car..."

Dieter Rencken

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scrap 28 June 2022

Aston Martin must be fuming. Valkyrie deliveries haven't started yet (or have they?) and already it's being usurped by Adrian Newey's latest project.

Having said that... £5m plus taxes for a track toy? Really?! Who on earth can both afford it and drive it to its full capability? 

Bob Cholmondeley 28 June 2022
scrap wrote:

Who on earth can both afford it and drive it to its full capability? 

Plenty of very rich people about these days who can spend £5million on a car. As for buyers having the skill to realy drive it, will any owner actually want to risk reducing the value by adding even a single mile?

Scribbler 28 June 2022

Yes, wealthy collectors with temperature-controlled garages are the target market for these cars. They will never be driven. According to The Saga of the Aston Martin Valkyrie, the "idea" for the Valkeyrie came from an Aston Martin dealership in Swtizerland around the time when the 918/P1/LaFerrari were being launched.

Peter Cavellini 28 June 2022

 Can you get one on a PCP deal ?, cynical humour aside, unless there making hundreds of them, who is going to benefit from this car?, what is Adrian Newey's vision of his tech for the cars that you and I are going to drive in the future?, we won't all be driving Supercars I know, but his design and the company's technology surely must be transferable?

koyaanisqatsi 28 June 2022

Now that there is a budget cap on F1 teams, they either have to lay expert people off or broaden and diversify their business model, so

..... the transfer of tech is from F1 to this road/trackday car .... and then on to a Le Mans derivitive of this car, which neatly diversifies and broadens their business model in a very cost effective way I'll wager. And thats great to see. They are even going to use the same production facilities for the F1 cars, this roadcar & the Le Man racers.

Presumably this car was initially concieved as an Aston when Le Mans drew up rules that left the Valkyrie in no-mans land. Me thinks Aston picked the wrong Billionaire benefactor.