Red Bull like an “old duck paddling frantically” in 2023 – Newey

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In the round-up: Red Bull’s chief technical officer Adrian Newey says their dominant 2023 season has been less trouble-free than it looks.

In brief

Newey says Red Bull have overcome “lots” in 2023

Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen have won all five of grands prix between them so far this year for Red Bull. But Newey said the team have had to overcome “lots” during the season already to achieve that.

“It’s the old duck paddling frantically,” he told the team’s podcast this week, “it might look smooth on the top, but it’s not been so smooth underneath.”

“We had a few reliability concerns coming out of the Bahrain test, so there’s always things that kind of you’re always worrying about things. Reliability, performance as well. Melbourne, we struggled to switch the tyres on, particularly on Friday. Got a little bit more on top of it by qualifying, but it certainly wasn’t an easy ride.”

Former McLaren figure praises Hamilton’s wheel-to-wheel demeanour

Sam Michael, the former sporting director of McLaren and technical director of Williams, has praised Lewis Hamilton for his ‘clean’ style of racing, particularly in his rivalry with Max Verstappen.

“Lewis has always been a clean driver. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him do something that you’d think ‘oh, that was dirty’,” Michael told the official F1 website.

“Even looking at the recent stuff with him and Max, he goes out of his way to not do stuff. So he might do things where, I don’t know, the pushing off the track and stuff. But that’s not putting the car into a position where it’s like ‘you do this and we crash’. You don’t see Lewis do that, do you?”

Hamilton and Verstappen have touched wheels several times in recent years. The pair infamously tangled at Silverstone in 2021, a collision which Hamilton was penalised for. Verstappen was given a penalty when they collided again at Monza that year and again when they tangled in Jeddah.

Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2021
Verstappen and Hamilton have had a few run-ins
They seldom met on track during 2022. However they did make contact at Interlagos, where Verstappen was penalised again.

Sainz shuts down injury claims

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz Jnr has rubbished suggestions he picked up an injury ahead of this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.

In the week leading up to the race it is tradition for a charity football match to take place in AS Monaco’s ground Stade Louis II between two teams that feature past and present Formula 1 drivers. Some shared their concern online when they saw Sainz had to have a leg strapped up following an incident during this year’s match.

Speculation Sainz had injured himself and put his race participation at risk prompted him to take to social media to say otherwise. “I am well and completely ready to race this weekend in Monaco,” he said. “What happened yesterday was simply a contact during the traditional charity football [match], but it was not an injury. I enjoyed playing football as I always do and now I am really looking forward to the weekend.”

He added the hashtag ‘stop inventing’, referring to a remark he made on the radio to his Ferrari team last year.

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Comment of the day

Honda have announced they will return to F1 in 2026 to supply power units to Aston Martin, who currently have Fernando Alonso in their driver line-up. In 2015, when he was racing for a Honda-powered McLaren team, a frustrated Alonso infamously called Honda’s unreliable F1 power unit of the time a “GP2 engine”.

Despite making this insult on the brand’s home ground in Japan, Honda has no concern about reuniting with Alonso should he remain with Aston Martin through to 2026.

This time round he’ll have to say “FIA Formula 2 Championship engine!”

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Sumedh and Joe Papp!

Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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39 comments on “Red Bull like an “old duck paddling frantically” in 2023 – Newey”

  1. “Plant”-“based” “milk” is for losers.

    1. Matteo (@m-bagattini)
      25th May 2023, 9:17

      Winners never point out losers. Losers, on the other hand…

    2. I don’t get how it’s legal to call something plant-based « milk » or « a burger ».

      1. While I somewhat understand the former, I question the latter, given the list of “ingredients” that have been turned into paddies in human history.

        1. I suspect you meant patties. Aren’t paddies little paddocks?

      2. Because it takes place in the US. In the EU, plant-based products cannot be labelled as the dairy products they’re imitating.

        That said, ‘vegan milk’ does sound better than ‘liquid legume’.

    3. Plant-based is never milk, because milk comes out of a mammary gland.

    4. @bullfrog @paeschli Cow’s milk etc. is for babies, though. Except they’re separated from their mothers at birth, so people can drink it, with the mother being hung from one leg and her throat slit well before her time, when she’s too worn out from systematically being violated and impregnated.

      And here we’re talking about losers.

      A grown person shouldn’t have to breastfeed (which is what you’re doing when you’re drinking actual milk), never mind from the breast of a non-human animal.

      People will accept the most perverse (and vicious) behaviors without ever questioning them.

      1. Some dairy executive in the 30s comes up with a way to sell addictive slave-milk and that’s now somehow considered a ‘tradition’. What’s worse; if you question the whole thing, it’s because you’re loser.


    5. Plant based “milk” goes back centuries, and in English, the term “milk” has been used for plant-based juices since 1200 AD.

  2. That’s a wonderfully enlightened take

    1. Dang, fail. That was supposed to be a reply to @bullfrog

  3. Lewis almost stopping at the track before the restart to get Max’s tyres colders, that’s not dity at all.

    1. He was entitled to set the pace at that time and had no obligation to ensure Verstappens tyres were in the correct temperature range. It’s not dirty but if that’s the best you can do then it’s very telling.

    2. Would Lewis’s tyres not have been cold as well then? Think you need to put a little more thought into your comments.

    3. You’re right. Perfectly legal.

  4. Chris Horton
    25th May 2023, 5:40

    Sounds like Red Bull have been having a nightmare.

  5. First I was like where is Kimi and then I was like its Antonelli not Raikkonen

  6. Why does Neweys cap look like it should read United colors of benetton

  7. Sainz’s participation was never under threat anyway, or at least I never doubted it.

    I like COTD’s joke.

  8. Rothmans (@carlosdavid)
    25th May 2023, 9:32

    Lewis always does this thing where he understeers when somebody wants to overtake him on the outside. That’s not nice. he did it in Silverstone 2021, did it with Albon, and in Spain 2022 against Magnussen.

    1. Yes, Lewis is not the clean driver they say he is. His pupil Russell already learned from him and shows the same nasty behaviour..

      1. Ayrton Senna used to be the dirtiest of them all, bur Sir has surpassed Ayrton

    2. Not only on these instances. Sam seems to be in need of an optician.

      1. And I would never buy an used car from the guy

    3. Well he is certainly adept at the aptly put acronym PIT (precision immobilization technique)

    4. “he understeers when somebody wants to overtake him on the outside”, You mean he does what every driver does.

      1. @chrisr1718
        That seems like a fair assessment. At least a lot more fair than the tinted views of Sam Michael

      2. No, plenty of drivers do not do this. And even those who have a habit of doing so, like the two Mercedes drivers, don’t do it all the time. Outside of F1 it rarely ever happens because their stewards haven’t forgotten what the FIA Code on driver conduct actually says about crowding people off.

    5. So explain to me where it’s in the rules that the driver being overtaken has to get out of the way of the overtaking car?

      Surely it’s the overtaking car’s responsibility to overtake cleanly? And overtaking on the outside has ALWAYS been the worst way around someone– so for Hamilton (and every other driver on the grid, including Max) to make it slightly more difficult for the overtaking driver is actually called “good racing”, or at least it used to be.

      And explain to me, when Max can see a car to his freakin’ right, on the inside, how Max turning INTO THE OTHER CAR isn’t at least partially his fault?

      This idiotic “You have to leave room for the overtaking car” was only added to the rules after Schumacher drove like the original %@@ at Monza, blocking Hamilton from overtaking for half the race.

    6. It’s called defensive driving.

      So question: When a car is overtaking another car, on the outside, who’s responsibility is it to ensure the overtake is clean and accident free?

      Your argument seems to imply that you think it’s the car being overtaken that has to play nice.

    7. That sounds very similar to Verstappen’s signature move…

  9. Proesterchen_nli
    25th May 2023, 9:35

    I find it hilarious to refer to an ad campaign activation event as a “beloved tradition”.

    1. Well, that’s because you’re ignoring the fact that it started 90 years ago when a winning driver asked for milk. No advertising involved.

      Next you’ll be saying that spraying champagne on the podium is also just an ad campaign.

      Facts aren’t your strong point, are they?

  10. So I’ll try it without the link.
    I can’t decide if the “new” Merc upgrades makes it look like a duck or a swan.
    But it does look different!

    1. Due to the lack of wings, feathers, bills, and the presence of tires and suspension components, you have a strange idea of what both ducks and swans look like.

  11. Adrian, you can paddle your prattle as fast as you want… there’s a flock of other teams that wouldn’t mind having your old duck and its “few reliability concerns”. ;-)

  12. Must be hard for Red Bull to struggle with ‘switch[ing] the tyres on, particularly on Friday’ at one out of five events. Still, Horner might want to sit Newey down and explain to him how he can work their “draconian” (their words) penalty – which was all just a misunderstanding, mind – into these statements.

    Also: do better, other teams. There are free practise P1s up for grabs!

Comments are closed.