When you’ve achieved what Red Bull Racing’s Adrian Newey has in your chosen occupation, people tend to listen when you speak—especially when you are discussing the regulations that guide your daily efforts.
Newey told AUTOSPORT that he feels Formula 1 could be heading down a slippery slope with regards to the new 2014 regulations that ban most of the innovation in aerodynamics over the past three seasons. Blown diffusers, F-ducts, dual diffusers and exhaust-blown diffusers are among those elements Newey feels strongly about.
It’s understandable as these are squarely in his sights as a brilliant aerodynamic engineer. Newey said:
“I think what’s more of a shame is that most of these things when they’re banned – the exhaust being a very good example – it’s actually just further restrictions,” he said.
“That’s a shame and a danger that if the regulations continue to become ever more restrictive we’ll eventually get the point where the car’s more or less designed by the rulebook.
“You’ll then have, effectively, GP1 cars where the differentiators are the engine and the driver. For me, it’s not Formula 1.”
It’s a difficult decision when determining the regulatory efficacy of a sport and Formula 1 has always prided itself as being a constructor’s series but tightening the specifications can lead to a “spec series” in the minds of many.
Are there major innovation blocks left in F1? Are there areas that are still uncharted territories for exploitation? Is Adrian’s commentary aero-centric and narrow in focus? If so, the engine formats are tied down very tightly so where are the great leaps in innovation that could lead to road car relevant products in the future?