Windsor praises Verstappen and Newey: ‘Max is certainly not an idiot’

- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_img
Windsor praises Verstappen and Newey: 'Max is certainly not an idiot'

In an exclusive interview with F1Maximaal, Peter Windsor discussed the three leaders who have transformed Red Bull Racing into a dominant team in recent years: Adrian Newey, Max Verstappen, and Christian Horner. Things have become restless in the team in recent months, but Windsor believes it is important not to forget that Horner has ensured that the top players remain within the team in recent years.

In recent years, Newey has been building one top car after another with the help of the more powerful Honda power source, and in 2024 Red Bull will also be at the top of both championships. Since the start of the 2022 season, Verstappen has managed to take no fewer than 36 Grand Prix victories in the cars built by Newey. “If you have a driver who can get the most out of the car, that is always of great value to any team,” says Windsor.

‘If you don’t have a driver who can get the most out of the car, that is a clear disadvantage. Adrian (Newey, ed.) is so good that he would never let it happen that he works for a team where he did not have a driver who could get the most out of his car. That would be pointless for an engineer of Adrian’s level.’ If Verstappen leaves Red Bull, this could also influence Newey’s choices.

Newey actually always competed against Michael Schumacher between 1992 and 2004. Both men shared the world titles for thirteen years, with seven drivers’ titles going to Schumacher and six to drivers in Newey cars, at Williams and McLaren. Now the best driver and the best designer seem to have united, leading to a period of extreme dominance. “Verstappen is a bit of a modern version of Schumacher,” is Windsor’s compliment to Verstappen.

Schumacher dominant thanks to the tires

The analyst does indicate that Schumacher’s dominance at Ferrari depended on another factor. ‘When he was really dominant it was because he, together with Jean Todt and Ross Brawn, had created a situation where they were in fact working exclusively with Bridgestone. Not in theory,” Windsor points out to customer teams Jordan and Minardi, “but in practice yes. Bridgestone was able to design tires specifically for Ferrari, to compete with the other major teams, all of which were running Michelins.’

“This had never happened in the history of the sport,” the 71-year-old added. ‘A tire manufacturer of the caliber of Bridgestone, which is probably the best tire manufacturer in the world, who specifically built tires for a team like Ferrari with a driver like Schumacher behind the wheel. That lasted for five or six years, in the golden age, and I don’t think it will ever happen again.’

The text continues below the image.

michael schumacher 2006 china
Michael Schumacher on his way to his 91st and last victory.

Newey’s talent was insufficient to win that battle at the beginning of this century. ‘He had to compete against that combination of Bridgestone, Schumacher, and Ferrari. That was quite a nice fight in the end, but that just shows how good Adrian is. He could fight that very strong combination, and sometimes even beat it. That tire war is now gone, and everyone uses Pirellis. So is it any wonder that Newey is now the boss of everyone?’ Windsor asks a rhetorical question. “It’s child’s work for him now, to be honest.”

Horner had it easy

It has been easy for team boss Christian Horner to keep Max Verstappen for years, Windsor believes. “Horner has done what Frank Williams and Ron Dennis can’t do, which is keep Newey happy and give him all the tools to do his job. It has not been difficult to keep Max in the team. When you have Adrian, you have to be an idiot to leave, and Max is certainly not an idiot. So Horner must above all keep Newey satisfied.’

According to Windsor, Horner did well, as Newey had no shortage of offers. ‘Six or seven years ago, Adrian almost went to Ferrari, but he decided against it at the last minute. Christian (Horner, ed.) managed to stop that deal at the last minute. If Ferrari had succeeded then, and had paid Adrian a lot of money, they would have won two or three championships by now, I have no doubt about that. Maybe Max would have gone to Ferrari, who knows?’

Would you like to discuss? Click here to register.

- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_img
Latest news
- Advertisement -spot_img
Related news
- Advertisement -spot_img