Adrian Newey F1 Design The Origins of His Success

Adrian Newey’s Childhood Dream Shapes F1 Career


Adrian Newey, now a Red Bull designer, reflects on his journey from childhood aspirations to shaping over 200 F1 victories. His passion for design started early and influenced his successful career.

Adrian Newey reflected on the origins of his desire to become a designer in motorsport, revealing that it began in childhood. Today a designer at Red Bull, and having assisted various teams in achieving over 200 Formula 1 victories, he explains the genesis of his career.

Newey’s Early Passion for Design

“By the age of 10, I started wanting to be involved in motor racing as a designer,” Newey shared on the Formula For Success podcast. “I used to make these little Tamiya model kits, and then, around 12, I got tired of doing other people’s designs.”

“I began sketching and making my own models out of bent aluminum and fiberglass, among other things. Then, I went to school, got expelled, attended a local technical college, became interested in girls and bikes, almost lost that direction, but came back to it.”

“Later, I went to university and studied aeronautical engineering, under the assumption that planes are closer to racing cars than any other discipline. I wrote to teams, every one I could find.”

Newey’s motorcycle became the star of his interview

Newey recalls that his only job interview was with Harvey Postlethwaite, a Formula 1 designer himself. However, the two didn’t really discuss professional credentials, as it was Newey’s motorcycle that caught the attention of his would-be judge.

Newey’s Motorcycle Secures F1 Job

“When I graduated, it was 1980, long before the internet. The usual response was ‘we don’t hire people without experience’.”

“So, I didn’t really know what I was going to do when Harvey Postlethwaite, who was at Fittipaldi at the time, called me, and luckily, I got in! He said, ‘can you come in for an interview?’ So, I rode my Ducati from Southampton to Reading.”

“I sat in the little cabin and Harvey came out and said ‘you have a motorcycle’, because I was dressed in leather. ‘What bike do you have?’ I said I had a Ducati 900 SS, bought with my grandmother’s money. My parents were really furious that I had bought this bike, but hey, that was how it was!”

“He asked to take a test ride and I said ‘yes, of course, please do!’ He went for a spin in the industrial area, disappeared for fifteen minutes, and came back. He came back, a big smile on his face, took off his helmet, and said ‘when can you start?’ That was the one and only interview of my career!”

More on today’s Adrian Newey news

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