Adrian Newey, Red Bull, Monaco, 2023

Red Bull’s road car will match F1 lap times using technology it banned – Newey

RaceFans Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: Red Bull’s chief technical officer Adrian Newey has revealed how their forthcoming road car will use innovations banned in Formula 1 to match the performance levels seen in the series.

In brief

Banned F1 technology key to “mind blowing” RB17

Newey said Red Bull’s forthcoming high performance road car will be “if driven by a professional driver, capable of a Formula 1 lap times.”

The car, named RB17, will sport technologies used on some of Newey’s most successful F1 cars, which were later banned by the series. “To achieve that [performance] we’ve pulled all the levers so it has a blown diffuser, active suspension too,” he told Red Bull’s official channel.

A blown diffuser uses exhaust gases to increase the downforce generated by the rear of the car. “The purpose of the active suspension is to give a very stable aerodynamic platform whilst maintaining reasonably sensible spring rates so that you don’t get thrown from bump to bump,” he explained. “Not nearly as stiff as a current Formula 1 car or a [Le Mans] car.”

“It’s kind of mind blowing in a way that this car, which is a two-seater, can produce that sort of performance,” he continued. “That’s really been achieved by the usual key parameters.

“Focusing on weight, it’ll be less than 900 kilos, much lighter than any normal road car or track car. But at the same time it will have 1,000 horsepower. V10, normally aspirated. That’ll sound awesome.

“But we then have a 200 horsepower electric motor and that fulfils a variety of functions. Obviously it’s an extra 200 horsepower, but it also smooths out the torque, smooths out the gearchange, provides reverse gear, first gear – you can move off the starter motor.”

Although the peak downforce generated will be limited to prevent excessive demands on its tyres, the RB17 will run on special rubber Red Bull has developed with Michelin. Asked whether he planned to order one for himself Newey said: “I may well do.”

Petronas deny report Malaysian GP will return

Start, Sepang, 2017
F1 last raced at Sepang in 2017
Mercedes’ title sponsor Petronas has denied a report it is pushing to bring the Malaysian Grand Prix back to the Sepang International Circuit. Petronas took over the naming rights to the track last year, but rejected claims it is seeking to revive the race, which last took place in 2017.

“Petronas refers to the news reports published on 31 January 2024 on the potential return of the Formula One Grand Prix to Sepang, Malaysia, in 2026,” it said in a statement. “We would like to confirm that there have been no discussions on bringing the sport back to the Petronas Sepang International Circuit.”

Prost says he’s “underrated”

Four-times Formula 1 world champion Alain Prost said he feels underrated among drivers despite having one of the most successful careers in the sport’s history.

Prost, who narrowly missed out on further championships on several occasions, says it is unfair he has a reputation as a “political” driver who outmanoeuvred his rivals off-track to ensure he got into the best cars.

“I do ask myself sometimes how I am going to be remembered,” he told Motorsport magazine. “What you said about the political things… It sounds like a joke but I’m completely underrated! I know that. I can see. I don’t know why, but it’s my brand in a way.”

Wurz completes Jenzer F3 squad

Jenzer has completed its driver line-up for the new FIA Formula 3 season by appointing Charlie Wurz. The 2022 Formula 4 UAE and 2023 Formula Regional Oceania champion is the son of former Formula 1 driver Alexander Wurz. He joins Matias Zagazeta and Max Esterson at the team.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Social media

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

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Comment of the day

Formula One Management’s announcement yesterday that it would not admit Andretti to the series in the next two years was widely criticised in the comments:

Any team that can build a car that meets the regulations and the 107% qualifying rule deserves a place on the grid and a share of the price money of they earn any.

Formula one should be about the competition and not the prevention of it, or the protection of financial interests.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Cliffery, Kutigz and Pmelton!

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.

40 comments on “Red Bull’s road car will match F1 lap times using technology it banned – Newey”

  1. If a full-sized two-seater, even with an extra 200kg, can achieve F1 performance levels, it suggests that there’s untapped potential in the technologies F1 has deemed not of benefit.

    How much I’d love to see a series based on this concept. The dream…. A true pinnacle of motorsports.

    1. Exactly. One would have thought that once a budget cap was introduced, teams would be free to design and add whatever they want in a F1 car, as long as it met safety standards and the cap.
      So what did FIA/FOM do? Introduce even more restrictive design regulations to make everyone do the same and completely stifle innovation.

      Pity it backfired on them so spectacularly and handed everything over to one designer and one team. Who’d have anticipated that (apart from pretty much everyone except FIA/FOM that is)?

      1. Maybe somebody can start a new formula (Formula Newey) series, and get Andretti as first entrant.

        And don’t invite FIA to organise it, or FOM to exploit it.

    2. Most restrictions that have been introduced have been made to improve racing. A generation ago we had the absolute fastest cars ever raced, breaking lap records all over. Meant nothing.

      They could make a single seater beyond human capabilities, I’m sure. But what for.

      1. If F1 has not been for people who think they are good enough, building and racing the fastest cars in the world and globally showcasing their dedication to that pursuit, then I definitely don’t know what it’s all been for…

        I’d be gobsmacked if that’s what the vast majority of those involved in F1 aren’t there for, and if it’s not, well I’d love to learn more about that.

    3. they had to slow down the LMP1 (fuel restrictions) cars to save F1’s time sheets. its not really a far stretch.
      The diesels would have had a better shot in Le Mans if they hadn’t penalized their fuel pits too. FIA isn’t about the edge of performance, its about branding and commercialization.

  2. Re the Malaysia report: As I suspected, speculation without foundation since Malaysia hasn’t really been keen on reviving the GP at any point post-2017.

    COTD couldn’t be more spot-on.

    1. Thank you, and thanks for another COTD Keith.

      1. Actually @keith, I just spotted some typos in my text that you’ve quoted… its obviously “prize” money and “if” they earn any. My fault and not yours.

  3. It’s rather telling that according to the linked article, there are still more US TV viewers of each Indycar race than each F1 race, despite F1 apparently becoming phenomenally popular in America due to DtS. With yesterday’s news I expect Indycar’s lead to increase. More broadly, I fear this might be the beginning of the end for F1.
    I strongly recommend Indycar’s pure motor sport as a refreshingly alternative to F1’s Americanised commercialism.

    A bit rich for Prost to claim he was underrated. He retired just as the F1 regulations changed from a minimum car weight to a minimum combined car + driver weight. So throughout his career, Prost had always been running about 14kg lighter than Senna and 22kgy lighter than Mansell, equating to roughly 0.4 and 0.6 seconds a lap respectively… No wonder he never looked like he was hustling the car…

    1. They did ballast the cockpits though, that’s why Schumacher allegedly had a lead helmet for his weigh-in at the start of one season.

      1. No. In Prost’s era, the only reason they might have added ballast then is to get the above the minimum 500kg limit for the car without driver. So even if they did that, then Prost would still retain his huge weight advantage.

        The reason Schumacher once literally said he might have eaten a few too many profiteroles before his pre-season weigh-in was because at that point, (maybe late 90s?), the drivers were only weighed twice, once before the season, and again half way through. And the FIA would add that recorded weight to the car’s weight measured at the race weekend to achieve the combined weight. So basically Schumacher cheated that season by somehow misrepresenting his typical weight at the pre-season weigh-in.
        At some point the FIA corrected that rule, by requiring the drivers to weighed straight after a competitive session.

  4. So from what I’ve been reading from some legitimately credible sources, this Lewis to Ferrari thing is actually a thing and there’s a good chance the contract was already signed and the signing is to be announced perhaps even by the end of this week. Apparently he’s free to leave Mercedes at the end of the year (as he’s on an optional 1 year extension contract for 2025 so he has an out).

    It’ll be very interesting to see if Lewis can be the one to finally get Ferrari back to a championship, and the dynamic between him and Charles is going to be very interesting, they seem very different personalities and to my eye seem to have very different driving styles and demands from a car.

    1. The rumour is spreading very quickly.

      I’ve always seen this as a dream move. Good for Hamilton to show how good he is (and not just the car), and good for Ferrari getting one of the best current drivers in their car (sorry, Leclerc still hasn’t made that list, and might never do).

      1. If it is true, I don’t blame him taking the opportunity. Merc may improve this year but it seems unlikely, that with stable regulations, Ferrari will drop back much. I mean they should be on an equal par with Merc and McLaren at least. He has nothing to prove really and it might work out for him and Ferrari.

    2. Good news for everyone (except Mercedes), if true. Prepare for the silliest of silly seasons – that seat alongside Russell is going to be one of the most sought-after drives in many years, particularly as there is no obvious successor.

      Unless Merc spoil it all by immediately announcing a replacement, like they did when Rosberg retired.

      1. Heading off into wild speculation territory, but who would Lewis’ replacement be? Carlos, Piastri, Fernando! ;-)

        1. I wonder about Ocon, given his links with Wolff, his former status as a test driver for Mercedes (so the team know him etc…) and the recent reports that Alpine are due to dispense with one of their two drivers given their difficult working relationship. Probably not the most inspired choice, but if they are looking for a Bottas-style wingman for Russell then there are worse picks.

          1. Probably not the most inspired choice, but if they are looking for a wingman for Russell then there are worse picks.

            Really!! I can’t think of anyone worse. Can you really see Ocon being a compliant nr2?

          2. there are worse picks [than Esteban Ocon as a teammate]

            While Esteban can be fast enough, I absolutely cannot think of anybody who could be worse as a teammate. He is the kind of guy that would choose finishing next-to last but ahead of his teammate over being 2nd while watching his teammate win.

        2. Rosberg !

  5. Alain Prost IS one of the greatest drivers and should be in all GOAT discussions. Apart from 4 WDCs he also has 4 second WDC places.
    Most fans get stuck up on the fact that Senna had 65 pole positions. But he only converted 19 of them into fastest race lap! That’s a measly conversion rate of 29%.
    Meanwhile, Prost out of his 33 pole positions, has produced 41 fastest laps. More than twice the amount of Senna. And his conversion rate is a ridiculous 124%! Now that’s a racer!

    1. Indeed. As I mentioned on Twitter, apart from two seasons, Prost was in championship contention from 1982 to 1993. With a bit more luck he could be an eight-times champ.

      1. Please read my post above regarding Prost’s unfair weight advantage which meant he effectively had a 30 second head start over half the field at every one of his races. I’m frustrated that the internet has not grasped this.
        Most overrated F1 driver ever.

        1. Prost was incredibly fit and professional and a great racer. A rare example of a complete driver. I hardly think it unfair that other drivers did not work as hard as he did on his fitness. If he was missing something that Schumacher had it was to say the right thing to keep people onside. Perhaps there was no way for Prost to fix Ferrari, but if anything, he was very bad at politics, getting squeezed out of McLaren and then fired by Ferrari. I prefer Prost’s frankness and honesty, though. I rate him or Schumacher as the best. They took the sport to another level.

          Those who celebrate Schumacher’s disqualification from the 1997 season cannot surely consider Senna’s 1990 title as fair. Prost was within his rights to hold the racing line in ’89 and had warned Senna in advance that he was not going to be barged out of the way.

          One of the funny things in discussions about the best F1 driver of all time is that while it is difficult to compare different eras, Prost was clearly better than Senna in the same era and Senna new this. He wanted to beat Prost to his satisfaction, which is why he wanted him to come back. He was an incredible qualifier and fearless beyond reason in a more dangerous time. He could not look after the car the way Prost could, but nobody could do that. Having bad reliability isn’t just about luck. One of the things said about Prost was that you knew you were in trouble if he was matching his qualifying times in the morning warm-up. Red Bull’s recent approach of focusing on race setup shows how far ahead of his time Prost was. He’d often start a little back, drop a few places at the start and then pass everyone once the race had settled down. Survive the start and then go – seems like a good strategy.

          1. I might add that this is somewhere where I think Max could improve. He did seem to be surviving the start by being careful in many races last year, but particularly in Vegas, he was needlessly aggressive in the short run to the first short corner where the tyres would not be warmed up and the evening was cold. He was not the only one to make this mistake, but he had the car to eventually win the race from his starting position. I have a feeling he went in looking to get the lead as early as possible for that laps led record, but he could have been out entirely if almost anyone but Charles was the man he wanted to pass. Perhaps all of this was calculated, but still someone like Max will know there are areas he must improve in. Another might be to not look to do an extra pitstop to get the fastest lap even with a few seconds in hand. This is not something a driver like Prost or Lauda would have done. One of the things that cemented Lauda’s greatness was beating Prost to get his third championship. Prost learned from this and improved. Even thought Max’s gambit worked, it does not make sense to risk a race win for a single extra point. You don’t have to be a Prost or a Lauda to know this. I don’t think there are many places where Max can improve. I’m sure maintaining his astonishing level of consistency involves a lot of hard work and dedication.

          2. I’m not accusing Prost of cheating, I’m just saying the rules gave him a very unfair advantage that made him look better than he actually was. And OK, so perhaps Mansell could have been fitter and lost a few kg, but Senna and the rest of the grid were not overweight for their heights. Prost was lightweight just because he is a very short man.
            And your point about taking it steady and then sweeping past the field in the second half of the race… Well, being up to 25kg lighter than others would have massively helped him better preserve his tyres and would also help avoid errors from pushing the limits.

          3. An interesting response, thank you. I suppose we’ll never know. It’s certainly an advantage to be lighter. I think Prost had what it took, but we’ll never know what would have happened. He could have perhaps done another year given his age, but didn’t want to be in the same team as Senna for obvious reasons. It might have been interesting to see what happened there, too. Even though Senna wanted him back, Prost claimed to prefer the 1994 car and I would take him on his word. Prost in 1994 would also be interesting as we would have gotten to see how he measured up to Schumacher. I think Schumacher had Senna covered and even spooked. How would Prost have reacted, especially if he was more at home in the more powerful Williams car? Schumacher had a more moderated aggression than Senna, but, from one or two incidents, he wasn’t always as together as Prost under extreme pressure. A lot of ifs there, including your theory about weight. If we could get good simulated versions of the 1994 Williams cars, the (difficult-to-simulate) atmospheric pressure-based legal traction control system of the 1994 Benetton, along with its spiky handling, we might see just what they could do at various circuits if driven by drivers who could maximise them. I’d expect that is what Schumacher versus Prost would have been. It would be good to find out more about that TC system of Benetton. From the sounds of it, it would be out of whack if atmospheric pressure changed during the race, so possibly not as useful as it may seem. Also, looking at Schumacher’s starts versus Senna, he didn’t have particularly good starts. There was one remarkable one that season where he leapt ahead of the others, but that may have been later on.

            It was an interesting season. If Prost had remained, would he have been in that lead car, with Senna in Damon’s? It would be nice to have them both with us right now, know the count of championships the three drivers would have had… and not have Damon and Villeneuve junior as world champions!

            I think the 1994 Adelaide incident happened too quickly to be cut and dry and that Damon made a mistake with his move. Prost or Senna may have handled that better. Would Schumacher have been disqualified from Silverstone and banned for so many races afterwards if he wasn’t up against a British driver, though? Sorry, I know that’s a potentially spurious thing to suggest, but I could never understand how overtaking in the parade lap merited a disqualification from one race, let alone several. The worst injustice of 1994, I think, even if it was by the book!

    2. I wouldn’t use fastest laps as a metric. Most of Senna’s wins involved him running away at the front on high fuel and nursing it home from half distance. For example, if he had went for a fast lap at any point of Jerez 1986, he wouldn’t have won the race.

      Prost was a great racer, undoubtedly, I just wouldn’t use fastest laps -at a time when they were meaningless – as proof of anything.

    3. Alain Prost is the only driver I would compare to JM Fangio and Jim Clark, and nobody ever came close to these three.

      1. Incredible drivers. Fangio spoke well about the importance of not making mistakes and not being too brave. It’s certainly not an accident that he was the greatest of his time and lived to a good age. Fangio’s 1957 German GP win was a bit like Schumacher winning by doing an extra pit stop (ahead of its time), but without even a seat belt… and at the Nordschleife!

        Clark… was so unlucky. What a driver. Had no business pulling that race back at Monza in ’67 before running out of fuel. Remarkable. ’97 was when Schumacher could have won one of the least likely championships if it wasn’t for Coulthard’s stupid driving at Spa and 2007 was Kimi’s cheeky win. Any other strong performances in a seven year?

        Prost? Well, the difficulty of measuring drivers from different eras is that you may be comparing fitter, more professional drivers with ones who drove more unruly and dangerous cars. Prost displayed pioneering professionalism, top fitness levels (look at his cycling results), and he drove those ridiculously powerful turbo cars that were both the most powerful and among the hardest to control. A lot of things came together during his career. Perhaps he’s lucky to have been there at the right time, but he had to contend with a mixture of the most difficult elements drivers new and old have had to contend with.

  6. Autosport are reporting this morning that Lewis is off to Ferrari in 2025! Replacing Carlos.

    They say both teams, Merc and Ferrari have refused to comment.

    1. It might be rubbish if course.

    2. Prost was a political driver. He was also very fast but not the fastest of his era. That title belongs to the one and only. He should be happy with what he achieved

  7. Talksport are reporting that Lewis is going to Ferrari….

    1. Toto to brief team this afternoon before a formal announcement…

  8. Didn’t Lewis win GP2 with Fred at ART in 2006? Could be quite the Vasseur coup.

Comments are closed.