Adrian Newey is considered to be one of the best F1 car designers of all-time, and he was largely responsible for Red Bull’s success from 2010 to 2013.
Newey has also had considerable success in motorsport outside of F1, with his designs winning the 1985 and 1986 CART titles.
Speaking to Motorsport Magazine last week, Bobby Rahal, a former racing driver who won the 1986 Indy 500, stressed the importance of having a top designer in auto racing.
“I’ve always said, give me Adrian Newey and he’ll design the best race car and we won’t need the best driver to win,” Rahal, who is now a racing team owner, said.
“Give him the money to design the best race car and you can take a driver for less money and win races.
“Give the driver $2 million and Adrian $9m and you’ll get a lot more value out of your money than by giving it all to the driver. If you’ve got the best race car you don’t need the best driver,” he explained.
The extent to which driver talent determines a team’s success is an ongoing debate in Formula One – and it intensified last season after Lewis Hamilton matched or broke a few records set by Michael Schumacher.
Some F1 fans argue that Hamilton’s success in the V6 turbo hybrid era of Formula One is largely down to Mercedes producing a dominant car and him having a weaker team-mate, while others believe this isn’t a fair assessment of the seven-time World Champion’s talent.