Adrian Newey, Red Bull, 2013

Ferrari and Lotus “got lucky” with 2013 tyres – Newey

2013 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Ferrari and Lotus were lucky the Pirelli tyres introduced during the winter helped them become competitive, according to Red Bull’s chief technical officer Adrian Newey.

Speaking on the Sport und Talk programme on Red Bull’s television channel Servus TV yesterday, Newey disputed the claim the two teams had developed their cars to suit the original 2013 Pirelli tyres better.

“We had a big change over the winter, an unexpected change,” said Newey. “Pirelli introduced a new tyre which was much more sensitive, it was very easy to overload it and because our car, a lot of its lap time is under braking and in the high speed corners, where you’re putting a lot of load into the tyres, we couldn’t really exploit that without the tyres going off very quickly.”

Adrian Newey, Red Bull, 2013“So that tyre change hurt us and helped some other people, such as Lotus, Ferrari perhaps. For me that was purely luck.

“I think Lotus and Ferrari are making making big noises about how clever they were over the winter to read that far. But to be perfectly honest they were just plain lucky, we were a little bit unlucky, and of course the the politics take over. So it’s been a challenging year but a very rewarding one.”

Lotus and Ferrari won three of the first five races but haven’t taken any victories since. Pirelli revised its tyres following the British Grand Prix in which several drivers suffered high-speed tyre failures.

Red Bull felt “fragile” at mid-season

Newey said in addition to pressure from Ferrari, Red Bull were also worried about Mercedes’ form in the middle of the season.

“It’s been a difficult season at times for us,” he said. “We started off, strong result in Malaysia, one-two in the second race. And then kind of our competitiveness went up and down a little bit.”

“It was a very close fight, Ferrari were very strong early in the season, Mercedes came on strong sort of around Monaco time. So come that middle of the season point we were not… we were in the lead of the championship, but it felt fragile, it felt as if Mercedes particularly at that point were on a roll.”

Newey admitted their focus on developing a car for next year’s rules change may have been compromised by their focus on securing the 2013 titles:

“We kept pushing, we introduced quite a few changes to the car, updates some in Hungary just before the summer break, then more in Spa. And that seemed to give us momentum.

“I guess really we’ve kept pushing all the way to Singapore in terms of introducing new parts, even Japan, which you could look back on now and say perhaps we pushed harder than we needed to because in doing that of course it’s taken resource off next year’s car.

“It didn’t feel that way at the time, it felt as if we needed to keep pushing and it’s been tremendous to have this roll that we’ve had at the end of the season.”

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176 comments on “Ferrari and Lotus “got lucky” with 2013 tyres – Newey”

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  1. So Ferrari and Lotus were “lucky” and the way RB responded to that has been to go “politics”
    On a general note I think RB is replicating what Benetton has been doing during the 90s. Extremely maximizing their presence in F1 in terms of wins and records in order to promote the Red Bull brand globally and disappear in a few year.

    So RB fans: enjoy the stay and be prepared to change your supporting team in a while (as Benetton ones did before you)

  2. Disappointing to see Newey being so arrogant. I personally think that Red Bull were even luckier to have the FIA give them their preferred tyre construction back when it appeared the season wasn’t going to be a complete walkover for them.

  3. David not Coulthard (@)
    6th November 2013, 15:00

    I don’t think the comments really deserve so much hate. All Adrian was trying to say was that the pre-season was a bit of a lottery. Sure, he should’ve use more words like “slightly” or “a bit”, but he made an otherwise valid point.

    1. otherwise called “politics”

  4. @keithcollantine any chance you could upload the whole interview? I realize it was a 90min show, but english parts of AN/CH would be nice?

    1. @rcrc I’m afraid not, I don’t have rights to the whole thing.

  5. I didn’t know he was such a bad winner.

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