The 2023 Formula 1 season witnesses Red Bull’s rising prominence as the team firmly secures its place at the top of the drivers’ and constructors’ championships. The team’s upward trajectory has not distracted them from closely watching their competitors, however. Among them, Mercedes, with their unique yet flawed design, sparked a particular interest in Red Bull’s ace aerodynamicist, Adrian Newey. The Red Bull notable recently shared his team’s observations with Sky Sports.
Let’s jog your memory back to 2022. Mercedes took the F1 world by storm by unveiling its ‘zeropod’ concept. Although Sebastian Vettel amusingly compared it to “dropped dough,” the unique design of the W13 promised groundbreaking advantages that seemed to elude other teams. But as luck would have it, the bold move didn’t exactly work out as Mercedes had hoped. Earlier this year, during the Monaco Grand Prix, they modified their concept. Their W14 came out sporting sidepods along with a variety of other changes.
Fast-forward to the second winter test in Bahrain, 2022. Mercedes, with their unconventional design, turned heads and drew the spotlight. Even Newey, known for his knack for details, couldn’t resist taking a closer look at this unusual beast of a car.
A humble confession from Newey revealed the level of interest Red Bull had in Mercedes’ approach. “Should we look more at what Ferrari did with their shape? In the end, we had a very quick look at the Mercedes to see what they were trying to achieve,” Newey candidly shared. But was there a lesson to learn from Ferrari? Apparently, Red Bull didn’t think so. “We didn’t look at Ferrari and mainly concentrated on developing our own car and luckily we seem to have had a decent solution.”