Red Bull launched their new Adrian Newey designed RB3 yesterday, and the car was described by Newey as ‘McLareneque minus engine fireworks’. Christian Horner, Red Bull team principal, hailed Newey as the Michael Schumacher of the engineering world, a fitting tribute given the phenomenal records set by his cars – 6 WDCs, 7 WCCs and 100 race wins. Adrian Newey expressed his regrets late last year that he never got to work with Michael, something Bernie Ecclestone is still thanking his lucky stars for, no doubt. One shudders to think what the two might have done together.
Infact Bernie recently revealed to FFNA that the idea did come up a few years back, but he had made it clear that he would allow a Newey-Schumi partnership only under one of the following conditions –
(1) The FIA will allow a partnership between Adrian Newey and Michael Schumacher under the stipulation that Michael should design the car, and Newey should race it, with no inputs from each other. Needless to say, the roles cannot be reversed.
(2) The FIA will allow Adrian Newey to design the car for Michael Schumacher, and Michael to race the same, under the stipulation that it has no engine and operates on manual pedalling.
Apparently they did try out option (2) and Michael set reasonably competitive times, but with the mandatory pitstop clause that FIA added later despite lack of need for refuelling, it was felt that the chances for a world championship were not very bright, eventually forcing them to abandon the idea.
Meanwhile, Gerhard Berger, STR team principal, said he was not very worried about the possibility of not having any car to race for Melbourne, because they might anyway not have drivers either. He also added that he didn’t see why Spyker or Williams should have any complaint about STR using Ferrari engine with Adrian Newey chassis, for as long as they retained Scott Speed and Liuzzi they didn’t stand a chance at being competitive anyway. Spyker and Williams are yet to respond.