Newey: We might be further behind than we were last year

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Red Bull design guru Adrian Newey is concerned that Formula 1 rules allowing for engine dominance and believes that, unless balanced with aero advantages, the sport will suffer.

Speaking to media in Chennai, Newey said, “It is important to find the right balance between the chassis, engine and competitive, but right now the engine is dominating, which is unhealthy.”

In reference to the advent of the iconic Cosworth V8 engine, which came to prominence in the late sixties and was one of the most successful engines in the history of the sport, Newey explained, “Cosworth came with a winning engine in 1967 that was exclusively for use by the Lotus team. It became very clear that the engine was going to be dominant. Then, Lotus agreed to waive its exclusivity to allow others to use it for the good of the sport.”

“Unfortunately, that sort of attitude doesn’t seem to exist any more. If the sport is not healthy, what’s the point in winning?” questioned Newey.

“Secondly with aero and chassis it is out on view, people can see designs, understand and copy. But with the engine formula you can’t see your competitor’s engine. The only way to catch up is with huge investments and people moving. Ferrari improved from 2014 to 2015 but it cost a lot and needed people from Mercedes,” added Newey.

As for the season ahead he said, “Our hope for 2016 is to just maintain that gap but with Ferrari and Mercedes expected to step up, towards the end of the year we might be further behind than we were last year.”