Race Blog
Japan 2012


Garage doors are pulled hard shut, quickly tools are neatly packed, two shiny F1 racers left all alone. “Now let’s go.”

“Run, run guys, run. We’ve got three minutes to get the hell out of here.”

One and a half minutes later and the final beep-beep from the F1 paddock gates chimes. 01.58. They’re out. They’re clear. 40+ hard-working Red Bull crew night-time curfew-running… again.

It’s all down to him, Newey’s to blame.

Formula 1 is excellence; ultra-competitive men driven to achieve, striving for performance, seeking speed in all that they do. No one, no one epitomizes this ethos more than Red Bull’s Chief Technical Officer and greatest ever F1 car designer, Adrian Newey.

The man is relentless. Ultra, ultra-competitive to almost maniacal levels. Of course his record speaks for itself: eight constructors’ title-winning cars for three different teams, over a hundred grand prix wins and counting.

1992’s Williams FW14B, the 1993 FW15C, Red Bull’s 2010 and ’11 RB6 and RB7 – one can make a case for all to be the Englishman’s greatest cars. But this year’s might just be Newey’s finest achievment yet.

Sure the RB8 hasn’t set the world alight in quite the same way as its most recent siblings. Over the past year or so almost all of Adrian’s ingenious engineering trickery has been outlawed, copied or cajoled away, giving McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes, Williams, Lotus and Sauber their chance.

So what does Red Bull’s genius do? What would you do? In the face of a widely perceived desire ­– by those in F1 power – to see an Alonso and Ferrari championship triumph, would you throw in the towel, scatter your toys all over the room and say to hell with it? Many would. Newey won’t.

Striving ever harder to get his latest car back up to speed he’s been working around the clock. Thinking, drawing, watching, learning, all in a hell-bent desire to show he’s still the man to beat.

The Red Bull mechanics and engineers, ever tired but high on recent championship success, knew and know what to expect. With a never-ending stream of requests for new parts to be fettled, made or machined they’re well aware of what’s expected. Get it done, get it done well and get it done fast.

Last Sunday’s field-crushing Sebastian Vettel Japanese Grand Prix win showed the world Red Bull are back. Back to hunt down another championship success.

And pulling the strings, pushing his guys ever harder, demanding absolute commitment is the quiet man, notepad ever present, scribbling performance-increasing ideas as he goes.

Thing is, he never really went away…


Please now take a few minutes to enjoy my pictures from the 2012 Japanese Grand Prix by clicking here.

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