Adrian Newey is a legendary aerodynamicist currently working for Red Bull, but while the Bulls are showing intense domination so far in this season, Newey has admitted that F1 cars are heading in the “wrong direction”. And when Newey says something is wrong, well, we listen to it.
2022 has brought several changes to how F1 cars are designed, with many teams interpreting these new regulations differently as you can see on the grid. But while the pack has now been brought together nicely and the racing is good, Newey admits that the weight of these cars will create a problem.
“I think the principle of helping cars to overtake by reducing the sensitivity of the following car to the one in front is fine. I think it helps to be able to overtake a little better. I don’t think it’s a significant change but it will help a little,” Newey told Motorsport Magazin.
“If you make such a significant rule change, which inevitably brings with it many other changes, then it will probably lead to the field expanding further in the first few seasons.
“In just a few years, the weight limit has increased from a low 600kg and 30-40kg of ballast on board to cars with 800kg and more,” he continued. “And we are all working like crazy to make that happen to achieve the currently prescribed minimum weight. In short, the cars have become bigger and heavier and not particularly aerodynamically efficient because they have a lot of air resistance.
“Obviously this wrong direction is the same in which the general automotive industry has recently developed – ever larger and heavier cars and the people’s obsession, whether they drive on batteries or on gas, the biggest issue is the amount of energy it takes to move the damn thing, regardless of where that energy comes from.”
Newey has often said that F1 cars should be light with high aerodynamic efficiency, but F1 is moving away from this.
“Obviously some of the safety issues become a self-reinforcing issue. The heavier the car, the stronger it needs to be.
“In my opinion, we need smaller, lighter, and more energy-efficient cars.”