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The Adrian Newey Hit Factory - the designer's greatest creations 04 Apr 2012

A champagne-soaked Adrian Newey clutches his trophy after the podium ceremony Mauricio Gugelmin (BRA) March 881 finished fifth. Hungarian Grand Prix, Hungaroring, Budapest, 10 July 1988. Mauricio Gugelmin (BRA) (Left) March 881 score his first ever F1 points when he finished fourth. He is lapping Julian Bailey (GBR) Tyrrell 017. British Grand Prix, Silverstone, 10 July 1988. Ivan Cappeli (ITA) March 881 Formula One World Championship 1988 Race winner Nigel Mansell (GBR) Williams FW14. Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona, 29 September 1991. Race Winner Nigel Mansell (GBR) Williams Renault FW14 British Grand Prix, Silverstone 14 July 1991 Winner Nigel Mansell (GBR) Williams FW14B Mexican Grand Prix , Mexico City, 22 March 1992 Race winner Nigel Mansell (GBR) Williams celebrate on the podium. Formula One World Championship, Rd9, British Grand Prix, Silverstone, 12 July 1992. World © Sutton Race winner Mika Hakkinen (FIN) McLaren Mercedes MP4/13. Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne, Australia, 8 March 1998. Race winner Mika Hakkinen (FIN) McLaren celebrates victory by embracing Adrian Newey (GBR) McLaren Technical Director. Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne, Australia, 8 March 1998. World © Sutton Mika Hakkinen (FIN), McLaren MP4-13, celebrates winning the race and his first World Championship. Japanese GP, Suzuka, 1 November 1998. World ©  Sutton. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) McLaren Mercedes MP4/20.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, European Grand Prix, Race, Nurburgring, Germany, 29 May 2005 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) McLaren Mercedes MP4/20 
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Italian Grand Prix, Race Day, Monza, Italy, 4 September 2005 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing and Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren celebrate on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Race, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Sunday, 14 November 2010 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB6.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Turkish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Saturday, 29 May 2010 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB6.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Hungarian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, 31 July 2010 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB7.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Friday, 6 May 2011 Race winner Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB7 celebrates with the team at the end of the race.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Korean Grand Prix, Race, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Sunday, 16 October 2011

‘Adrian Newey has come up with something new’ are eight words guaranteed to strike fear into the hearts of even the sturdiest technical directors. For over the last 20 years, Newey has established himself as one of the most innovative - and successful - Formula One car designers.

His 2011 creation - the championship-dominating RB7 - ruled the roost and saw the Englishman claim his eighth world title. But last year’s Red Bull was just the latest in a long line of engineering tours de force that Newey has devised over the past two decades. We take a quick look at some of his greatest hits, as he celebrates receiving an OBE for services to motorsport...

1988/89 - March 881
Driven by: Ivan Capelli (seventh in 1988 drivers’ standings) and Mauricio Gugelmin (13th)
Engine: Judd
Wins: Zero from 19 races
Podiums: Three
Pole Positions: Zero
Fastest laps: Zero
Points: 26
Constructors’ standings: Sixth in 1988 (from 11th in 1987)

After a spell as race engineer to Mario Andretti in the American CART series, Newey began work at March in August 1987 and was soon designing his first Formula One car - the March 881. As a normally-aspirated car in the ‘turbo age’, it should have struggled to make much of an impression, but Newey’s creation managed it. Two podiums, including a second place at the Portuguese Grand Prix, put him on the map as one to watch and the following season, when turbo engines were banned, the 881’s svelte monocoque was copied by most of the field. It was a car that singlehandedly proved that clever thinking could help even teams with a limited budget shine.

1991 - Williams FW14
Driven by: Nigel Mansell (second) & Riccardo Patrese (third)
Engine: Renault
Wins: Seven from 16 races
Podiums: 17
Pole Positions: Six
Fastest laps: Eight
Points: 125
Constructors’ standings: Second (from fourth in 1990)

After two lacklustre seasons, Williams were determined to bounce back to title-winning form in 1991 and poached Newey in mid-1990 to work alongside technical director Patrick Head. Freed from March’s budget constraints, the young designer’s creativity knew no bounds and he penned the most technically-advanced car on that year’s grid. Even on paper the FW14 looked good enough for Mansell to put his retirement plans on hold and make the move from Ferrari. Early snags and hit-and-miss reliability meant that the car was ultimately unable to challenge Ayrton Senna in the McLaren, but seven wins from Mansell and Patrese put Williams firmly back in the title race.

1992 - Williams FW14B
Driven by: Nigel Mansell (world champion) & Riccardo Patrese (second)
Engine: Renault
Wins: 10 from 16 races
Podiums: 21
Pole Positions: 15
Fastest laps: 11
Points: 164
Constructors’ standings: First (from second in 1991)

What had looked promising in 1991 became potent in 1992. Off-season development of the FW14 (which became the FW14B) had ironed out remaining issues and Williams’ game-changing active-suspension system had been installed. The new car was a stunning success and from the off Williams were far and away the team to beat. While Patrese won one race, Mansell wrapped up the title in dominant fashion with a mammoth nine wins and 15 poles from 16 races. Such is the FW14B’s legend that it remains top of the list of dream rides for many of today’s drivers.

1998 - McLaren MP4-13
Driven by: Mika Hakkinen (world champion) and David Coulthard (third)
Engine: Mercedes
Wins: Nine from 16 races
Podiums: 20
Pole Positions: 12
Fastest laps: Nine
Points: 156
Constructors’ standings: First (from fourth in 1997)

1998’s MP4-13 was the first McLaren designed under Newey (he had joined the team a year earlier) and the car to beat that year. At the season-opening Australian Grand Prix it became startlingly clear that Newey’s design was on the money, with Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard qualifying seven-tenths of a second ahead of the Ferrari of Michael Schumacher. And the car’s aerodynamic majesty and its powerful Mercedes engine remained a match made in heaven throughout the year. Hakkinen ultimately claimed eight victories, to Coulthard’s one, to clinch championships for himself and the team - McLaren’s first since Ayrton Senna’s success seven years earlier.

2005 - McLaren MP4-20
Driven by: Kimi Raikkonen (second) and Juan Pablo Montoya (fourth)
Engine: Mercedes
Wins: 10 from 18 races
Podiums: 18
Pole Positions: Seven
Fastest laps: 12
Points: 182
Constructors’ standings: Second (from fifth in 2004)

After one of the worst seasons in McLaren’s long history, Newey’s MP4-20 was the perfect antidote. It may not have won the championship for the team (that honour fell to Renault’s much more reliable R25) but it was unequivocally the grid’s fastest car. Its clever front wing, shorter wheelbase, deliberately front-focused weight distribution and ingenious aerodynamics made the most of that year’s regulation changes. After losing out on victory in five of the first seven rounds, Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya bounced back, winning 10 races in total to secure second in the constructors’ standings.

2010 - Red Bull RB6
Driven by: Sebastian Vettel (world champion) and Mark Webber (third)
Engine: Renault
Wins: Nine from 19 races
Podiums: 20
Pole Positions: 15
Fastest laps: Six
Points: 498
Constructors’ championship: First (from second in 2009)

Leaving McLaren for young upstarts Red Bull in 2006 gave Newey a fresh challenge, plunging him back into a truly independent team for the first time since his March days. The rewards were meagre at first, but slowly and surely the big time beckoned and the floodgates finally opened in 2009 with the six-time race-winning RB5. Newey had seized on another major rule review to rock the establishment and had it not been for the double diffuser-equipped Brawn, the RB5 would have been the year’s sensation. But there was more to come from the package, with Newey himself describing its follow up, the RB6, as a ‘sensible evolution’. But that camouflaged the huge amount of work that had gone into refining the car, all the way from its pull-rod suspension to its carefully sculpted nose. Hugely impressive, the RB6 won nine races and claimed 498 points to hand the team their first constructors’ title and Vettel his first drivers’ championship.

2011 - Red Bull RB7
Driven by: Sebastian Vettel (world champion) and Mark Webber (third)
Engine: Renault
Wins: 12 from 19 races
Podiums: 27
Pole Positions: 18
Fastest laps: 10
Points: 650
Constructors’ championship: First (from first in 2010)

If the RB6 had been a rip-roaring success, then the RB7 was its all-conquering successor. Embracing the ban on double diffusers and the reintroduction of KERS, Newey’s visionary design would perfect the use of the exhaust-blown diffuser. It set the benchmark for the pit lane from the very start of testing and still had rival engineers scratching their heads by the end of the 19-race season. The greatness of a car can often be judged by the number of questions received by the FIA about its legality, and the RB7 had a fair few. Not one, however, was upheld. All in all it took 12 wins, 27 podiums and a massive 650 points on the way to a successful defence of the title double. And had Webber’s form been on a par with Vettel’s, Red Bull’s dominance would have been even more complete.

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