Privileged to attend a dinner at which the eminent F1 designer Adrian Newey was guest of honour. Newey isn’t exactly famous for talking about himself, but with the help of an adroit interviewer, Ben Cussons, he talked freely about his career and took curly questions from the audience.
I’d have imagined he wouldn’t want to say much about early season testing – Red Bull called it off a day early because their Renault engine wouldn’t work – but he dealt with it adroitly when someone asked the question: when are you going to retire and give someone else a chance? “Pretty soon,” he said, “if we can’t get this car working...”
Newey professed no special insight into how the 2014 season will go, but said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if it divided itself into two parts, the first being the first few races when people simply got their cars working, the second when they raced as normal.
He was pretty critical of the latest F1 changes, which he reckoned, like other recent rule-changes, tended to be more and more restrictive. “Regulations tend to design the car these days,” he said. “We’re moving more and more closely towards a one-make formula — and one-make formulae have a pretty poor reputation with the audience.