Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri, Circuit of the Americas, 2023

‘Wrong’ to think we could do better than Newey and Wache, says new RB boss

RaceFans Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: Peter Bayer, the new CEO of Red Bull’s junior team currently known as ‘RB’, admits their former development direction was a mistake.

In brief

“Little brother” team chose wrong development path

The team which competed as AlphaTauri last year began to move its car design closer to that of Red Bull towards the end of the season, when it enjoyed a clear upswing in performance. It intends to continue that trend next year, and Bayer is confident they are now on the right track.

“I think we have everything it takes to be successful in the sport,” he told Motorsport Magazin. “There are various themes, but I think the main reason why we are not higher in the rankings was the belief of some engineers that they can do things better than Red Bull Racing with [designers] Pierre Wache and Adrian Newey.

“Back then they managed to assert themselves. But if you look at the situation today, every team is replicating Red Bull. We are the little brother and we believed we could go our own way. That was wrong and that’s why we are where we are today.”

Carlin becomes Rodin

Junior single-seater team Carlin, former home to many Formula 1 stars including seven drivers in this year’s field, will rebrand as Rodin this year following its takeover by the sports brand owned by David Dicker. “The move boosts the team’s performance ambitions on track and further strengthens the company’s business foundations,” it said in a statement.

Rodin will compete in Formula 2, Formula 3, GB3, British F4, Spanish F4 and F1 Academy this year.

Zagazeta gets Jenzer F3 seat

Jenzer Motorsport has announced Peruvian racer Matias Zagazeta will contest the FIA Formula 3 series for them this year. He finished runner-up in British F4 three years ago and has competed in Formula Regional Europe since then.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Noda joins Super Formula

Juju Noda will leap up to Japan’s top single seater series, Super Formula, with TGM Grand Prix this year. She will be the fourth woman to race in the series and the first from Japan.

The 17-year-old daughter of three-time F1 race starter Hideki Noda raced F3 cars in Euroformula Open last year, where she won once before leaving the series mid-season. She also sampled more powerful machinery in Boss GP and won the Italian F2000 Formula Trophy series.

Schreiner gets Sauber backing for F1 Academy return

Carrie Schreiner will spend a second season in F1 Academy after being picked to join the Sauber Academy. The one-time Formula E test driver returned to single-seaters last year after spending the previous six seasons in sports cars. Schreiner placed 11th in F1 Academy last year, taking a single victory in a partial-reverse-grid race at Zandvoort.

Social media

Notable posts from X (formerly Twitter), TikTok and more:

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Comment of the day

Is this going to be the final season in Formula 1 for Sergio Perez?

I think Checo will simply retire at the end of the year.

He was nearly gone at the end of 2020. An absolutely incredible end of the season ensured he continued in F1, and that too with Red Bull. But the fairy-tale has to end somewhere. I think his 2024 could be similar to 2022. And he would retire.

Will always remember him for his podiums through the Merc dominant years, that 2020 season end, and the ‘Minister of Defence’ antics for Max in 2021

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Cameron, Nano Rock, Sams, Ryan-Veitch and Euro Brun!

On this day in motorsport

  • Born 80 years ago today: Rory Byrne, who designed world championship-winning cars for Ferrari and Benetton


Don’t miss any of our RaceFans’ motorsport coverage! Get a daily update in your inbox – sign up for the free RaceFans email Newsletter here:

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

34 comments on “‘Wrong’ to think we could do better than Newey and Wache, says new RB boss”

  1. Tatiana Calderon raced in SF in 2020 & ’21, but I wonder who the two before her are as I haven’t noticed any female names when I’ve checked through each year’s drivers from 2013 onwards & even earlier under different series identities.
    Nevertheless, alongside Iwasa & Pouchaire, I’ll also extra attention to how well Noda will perform.

    I share COTD’s sentiment as I’ve envisioned him quitting F1 after this year’s season since his 2023 struggle for consistent performance truly became a thing.
    Continuing beyond is also possible, but leaving more likely by gut-feeling.

    1. Google* is your friend:
      Sarah Kavanagh (formula Nippon) and Divina Galica (Formula 2).

      * I tried AI (ChatGPT), but as so often AI gives an elaborate answer but totally incorrect. It even came up with the name of Jamie Chadwick, and only ‘apologising’ when I asked for to double check ;)

      1. No wonder I didn’t notice those names, as I only looked from early-2000s onwards, iirc, & the former raced in 1997.
        The latter hasn’t raced in Japan, though, based on her racing record on Wikipedia & the ‘F2’ there is a European one.

        1. All races were in Japan; one in Mine and the rest always at Suzuka.

  2. Agree with the COTD. I just don’t see Sergio getting a contract extension at Red Bull after this season. He doesn’t have it within him to justify that 2nd seat .. as we’ve seen over the past two seasons. As the performance gap between Red Bull and its rivals gets closer, Red Bull will need a a stronger and more consistent #2 driver, and Sergio just doesn’t fit the bill.

    I don’t see Mercedes, Ferrari or Mclaren interested in Sergio’s services either, so I think retirement is the best option for him in 2025.

    1. I’m not a big Perez fan but I could see him at Williams. Him and Albon would be an interesting combination!

      1. RBR – Red Bull Rejects

        1. That’s an interesting acronym and also true!

  3. the belief of some engineers that they can do things better than Red Bull Racing with [designers] Pierre Wache and Adrian Newey. Back then they managed to assert themselves.

    What an absolutely awful comment. I would despise such a boss, openly piling on its employees after a failure and providing a pretty lame guideline: be a good copying sheep.

    1. I think it’s was more like Adrian has design these groundeffects cars before and these are the things you have to keep in mind when designing your car and the designers thought we know better and went the other way…..

      1. There is nothing magical about ground effect cars. These cars are all within 1-2% of performance. They all know how to do this, but Red Bull has hit the sweet spot in balancing speed and tyre management. In modern F1 that is the only way to be the best because compensating in other areas is nearly impossible or even outright banned (even the engines are now locked in and equalised).

        The budget cap could have led to some looser rules, but it seems F1 is instead continuing its slow march towards DPi-like cars, with only minor tweaks on a prescribed platform.

        1. MichaelN,
          Demagoguery is prevalent in F1 these days, particularly on social media. It’s worth to mention that ideas leading top teams to world championships often originated from small teams or even junior engineers within those top teams. The double diffuser that won Brawn GP the championship was created by a Japanese aerodynamicist at Honda, Masayuki Minagawa if I’m not wrong. It was later mastered by Newey at RBR but he wasn’t its creator.

          The trend continues with the Coanda exhaust in 2012, a concept initially introduced by Sauber and later adopted by the rest of the teams to recreate the EBD effect. Similarly, the DDRS that year was introduced by Mercedes, then a midfield team. Both innovations were later copied by RBR and optimized in the Singapore GP upgrade, ultimately reviving Vettel’s championship hopes.

          Newey is the last great F1 designer but he is no magician. The eras marked by his cars’ dominance are characterized by regulations freezing engines, placing chassis and aerodynamics as the primary performance differentiators. RBR, benefitting from free engines for over 15 years, consistently allocates its entire budget towards chassis, aero, and investments in evolving tools and technology.

          Their unrivalled expertise spans aerodynamics, composites, and mechanical engineering, a testament to their long-term commitment to F1. As long as the rules remain structured this way, RBR is poised to maintain dominance, whether with Newey at the helm or not.

          As for Newey, it’s evident that he lost against a former adversary, now an external consultant at Ferrari. Interestingly, Rory Byrne, often seen enjoying spaghetti at the iconic Ristorante Montana, managed to outperform Newey at his own game during periods of competition with no restrictions, even when Newey operated sometimes with a higher budget.

          The F1-75 was the best interpretation of the ground effect straightaway out of the box and it got inspiration with regard to the floor from Byrne’s earlier design, the F1-2003. Once RBR began their typical rapid development of the RB18, focusing on weight reduction coupled with the introduction the TD039, it was game over.

          Furthermore, RBR have failed their first crash test of the RB20 which doesn’t bold well…for their rivals. It’s rumored that they’ve gone more extreme with a new ultralight version of their already ultralight chassis…

          1. @tifoso1989 – +1 you are correct the RB19 was little too heavy (still) so if they go even more lighter …..

            MichaelN – As Adrian was around in the 80s designed with groundeffects it’s not the groundeffect where he focussed on but on the suspension which the others didn’t do to get the maximum from groundeffects. Experience does work …

    2. Thought the same, I wonder how much staff will be leaving in the year or two.
      Probably a bit harder to do now with the cost cap though

    3. Or maybe the engineers who don’t have any history of success need to be taken down a peg or two for thinking they know better than Newey and his team who have been at the top of the pile for over 30 years?

      It’s not as if there would be any shortage of applicants if a Toro Rosso engineer got the hump and walked away.

  4. 2024 the year of the attack of the (RedBull) clones? Seems a large number of teams will attempt a copy. Should make for some interesting races (at least on paper).

  5. JuJu is so young! Keep forgetting how early she started. Fingers crossed for her, and like Jere for Theo too. F2 power tho, same as Indy, why do they have literally half the power of F1? Or I suppose why does F1 need double? Somebody’s got it wrong, in theory

    1. F2 power tho

      F2 use engines rated at 620hp. Indycar are close to 700hp, as are Super Formula (despite running substantially smaller 2L I4’s).
      F1 is around 1000hp or a little bit less (actual F1 figures on current performance are never released to public).
      Well over ‘figuratively’ half – never mind ‘literally.’

      1. S Not really about never releasing to public, but because no one simply knows for certain, i.e., not even engineers based on what Bottas said on the 2019 Hungarian GP post-race press conference as he had asked for a precise figure before.

        1. In the press conference

          1. Oh Jere…
            As if Bottas would release confidential competitive data such as that to the media, even if he did know.

            I guarantee you that race engine designers know exactly what their engines are capable of. They do hundreds, thousands of dyno runs and push dozens of engines to the point of failure and beyond long before they even think about putting one on the track in a car.

      2. S, you seem to be picking the upper bound values for IndyCar, as the actual power output depends heavily on the circuit configuration – the organising body changes the boost pressure, and thus power output, between different circuit types.

        The range that seems to get thrown around is 550-700bhp, depending on whether the engines are set to the limit of 1300mbar for a superspeedway, up to the 1650mbar limit when using push to pass. It seems that something in the order of 600-650bhp would be more usual for an Indycar.

        As for claiming that the Super Formula operates at around 700bhp – I don’t know where you’re getting your figures from, but the organisers for the Super Formula series quote a figure of around 550bhp.

        Super Formula currently runs to the Nippon Race Engine (NRE) formula, which is a joint set of engine regulations between SuperGT and Super Formula – the difference between the two is that the Super Formula has a lower fuel flow allowance than the SuperGT cars have, which in turn reduces the power output from the circa 650bhp that SuperGT cars operate at to the circa 550bhp figure that is quoted for Super Formula.

        1. Right, I said that Indycar engines can run at around 700hp – I didn’t say that they always do. F1 cars don’t run at 950+hp all the time either, but are still capable of it.
          As for Super Formula – they do indeed use the same engines as Super GT’s GT500 class, which is why I said it. Last reliable (inside) source I heard from was probably 3-4 years ago, stating about 650hp then (which is close enough to 700hp for the sake of this comment thread). The newly-introduced Class 1 regs actually specified a 650hp limit at the time, as most competitors could reach it already…
          That SF use a different fuel flow restriction to GT500 doesn’t mean their engines aren’t capable of, and designed to be, run at that higher specification.

          Why wouldn’t I pick the upper values? That’s what everyone does because it’s exactly what engine specs are.

    2. Does the world’s second-fastest circuit-racing series really have the same BHP amount as F2 & IndyCar? Being faster than them suggest differently as being faster by aero alone is(would be difficult for a spec series.

      1. Is/would be

  6. Odd to see F1 labeled as the “pinnacle of aerodynamics”, especially by someone in sportscars. F1 cars are aerodynamically complex, but that’s not the same as efficient or effective. A lot of the fancy looking parts of an F1 car are there only because of the absolute mess created by the open wheels.

    It’s always fun to see a prototype without the top bodywork; its layout is very similar to the open wheel cars. But a lot of the ‘magic’ is usually hidden from view.

    1. The fact that is is more complex, thus F1 requires more understanding of aerodynamics vs sportcars. Basically you can learn more about aerodynamics in F1 vs in sportcars.

      1. That’s probably how Button meant it. But it’s not the case that aerodynamicists in sportscars don’t understand the way an F1 car works, it’s just that they don’t have to solve the problems people in F1 do because the regulations they’re working with allow them to prevent most of them. Which is arguably ‘better’, or nearer the ‘pinnacle’ as Button phrased it. F1 has to have big powerful engines in part because of how inefficient the chassis is, and nobody designing a race car from a blank canvas would think it was a good idea to expose the wheels.

        Ultimately they’re all working to a set of regulations, and finding the marginal gains that are allowed. Designers in F1 could no doubt create great sportscars, and the other way around as well. Nobody is really pushing the envelope, as such. There are very few new things being done in motorsport these days.

      2. Different rule sets require the same understanding of aero, because it is the same concept regardless of what shape the rules say the car must be. Fluid dynamics are the same no matter where they are applied.
        The primary difference between the two types of series/rule sets is that F1 cars have been physically smaller and lighter, and therefore (from the 1980’s at least) more sensitive to relative performance gains via aero development than via mechanical means. Then add the financial and exposure rewards being greater in F1 than anywhere else, making the technical competition more competitive…

        Within F1’s rules, there is little room left for significant performance differentiation via any means other than aero – and only relatively recently has that become the case in sportscars, as their rules also become more prescriptive too.

  7. I don’t really get the Carlin to Rodin rebrand. I think it would have been better to do it the other way around and inject the sportscar bit of the business with the Carlin racing heritage.

  8. I worry that the way Juju Noda been pulled around so many different categories in a relatively short amount of time and then thrown into a high level series like Super Formula is going to hinder her potential.

    I think she has a good level of ability based both on what I’ve seen of her as well as things I’ve heard from people who have worked with her who were very high on her.

    I get that she was in a position where she couldn’t race in Japan and so needed to look overseas but i just don’t think jumping around like she has and especially some of the series she’s raced in has been as beneficial to her growth as sticking with one series and then moving to the next one up in a more traditional way would have been.

    She was around 2 seconds off the fastest times in her first super formula test which given her lack of experience in high power, high downforce cars actually isn’t that bad; especially at Suzuka which is a very physical track.

    But again i just worry that it’s a big step too soon and that struggling in a top-ish level series that gets a fair amount of attention isn’t going to help her as It’s putting a lot of pressure on her.

    1. COTD-worthy post & I share a similar sentiment.

  9. Yeah I feel much the same. I don’t know who dictates her career (though I’d be inclined to assume her father) but they really need to let her settle in a championship and develop her skills for a while rather than being constantly yanked around from one series to the next, often dropping out after a few races. It can’t be good for her development.

Comments are closed.