Will history repeat itself?

Adrian Newey recently said that developing the Red Bull to the final race of the 2012 season has delayed work on the team’s 2013 car.

This brings back some memories of the 2008 season, and the troubles both Ferrari and McLaren had in 2009. Both teams blamed their poor season on the close title fight in 2008, the need to develop the cars, and the effect that had on building cars for the new regulations. This allowed Brawn and Red Bull, who had lacklustre seasons in 2008, to come to the front and fight for the title.

For 2014, there are to be some major rule changes, with smaller engines and aerodynamic changes. While teams will have been looking toward the new regulations already, Should the 2013 season pan out as closely as 2012, could those in the title fight start 2014 on the back foot? And will those who sit back reap the rewards of a new, level playing field?

Let’s not forget Lewis Hamilton moved to Mercedes because he felt they were the best placed for 2014, and has constantly said he doesn’t expect much from this year. If the W04 is a dog of a car, I wouldn’t be surprised if the team is putting all its eggs firmly into the new regulations basket.

But of course, the one single point here is Adrian Newey. This is the man who designed the dominating McLaren of 1998, when the rules changed to narrower chassis, and of course steered Red Bull into contention in 2009 when the rules changed again. Newey seems to thrive on challenges, and I would say that 2014 has come just in time. He’s taken the current rules and regulations as far as he can on the Red Bull, so if the team challenges again this year, expect them to break the mould and be in the fight with a 1.6-litre engine in the back.


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