Adrian Newey: Red Bull 2023 advantage similar to 2010

Jaden Diaz
4 Jan, 2024

Adrian Newey outlines the key difference between Red Bull’s dominant 2023 campaign and the hotly contested Championship battle of 2010.

Red Bull and Max Verstappen were an almost unstoppable combination last year, breaking record after record. Only Carlos Sainz in Singapore (and Oscar Piastri at the Qatar Sprint) prevented the RB19 from taking a clean sweep.

However, this is hardly the first time the Austrian team have dominated Formula 1.

Under the guidance of Adrian Newey, Red Bull claimed four consecutive Championships from 2010-13.

Even when this winning streak ended, aerodynamics was not the primary weakness.

Although Mercedes obviously excelled in all areas, it was the difference between the German engine and Renault’s that made a huge difference from 2014-17.

It was often at circuits where engine power was less significant, such as Monaco or Mexico, that Adrian Newey’s machines came to life.

According to Adrian Newey, this wasn’t the only time that reliability became a limiting factor.

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As quoted by The Race, the British engineer explained that Red Bull’s 2010 RB6 was comparable to the RB19 – but the Championship still went to the wire:

“In 2010, we probably had as big a performance advantage as 2023. 

“But didn’t have the reliability.”

It is difficult to dispute his assessment, given his proximity to the team’s development at the time.

Even from the outside, it seemed clear that Red Bull was dominant in 2010 over one lap. Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber claimed the majority of Pole Positions across the season.

Despite this, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton (and, to a lesser extent, Jenson Button) pushed Red Bull all the way in the title battle.

Newey’s analysis only emphasises the historic nature of Verstappen’s 2023 run. Even in a sport where domination is semi-frequent, the Dutchman was in a league of his own.

Regardless, everything resets to zero when the lights go out at round one.

At Red Bull, the objective will be to maintain and possibly extend their advantage over a growing pack of chasing teams.