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Red Bull Racing

How Mercedes' dominance helped Red Bull to prepare to win

From 2014 onwards, Mercedes enjoyed a long period of dominance in Formula 1. While Red Bull were unable to match the Silver Arrows during that time, Adrian Newey admits that they learned a valuable lesson that helped them to prepare for their future success.

Hamilton Rosberg Verstappen 2016
To news overview © XPBimages

Adrian Newey has revealed that Red Bull took a key lesson from Mercedes' period of dominance in Formula 1, one that aided their own future success.

The Silver Arrows became the team to beat at the beginning of the hybrid era in 2014 and went on to win eight consecutive Constructors' Championships, as well as claiming every Drivers' Championship between 2014 and 2020 inclusive.

Red Bull – who had previously been the leading outfit, having won four Drivers' and Constructors' titles between 2010 and 2013 – were unable to match Mercedes during those years, but came to a realisation about what they needed to improve.

Newey reflects on lessons learned from Mercedes

When asked what he learned during Mercedes' dominant years in the sport, Newey explained: "Have a decent engine.

"We went into the hybrid era, and Renault got it wrong, so that was pretty depressing because you realised that in your foreseeable future if you do a spectacular job, you might snatch the odd win, but you're never going to win a championship."

As such, Red Bull went on to end their partnership with Renault and instead switched to Honda as their engine supplier from 2019 onwards.

Red Bull praise partnership with Honda

The team's success grew from then on, with Max Verstappen eventually going on to win the World Championship in a Honda-powered Red Bull in 2021 and 2022, while Red Bull clinched the Constructors' Championship in the latter year for the first time since 2013.

Newey believes that the squad's switch from Renault to Honda was a key moment.

"That was a reset," he continued.

"I think one of the strengths of the team is that we put our heads down and got through that period so that when once we had a good power unit again with a partnership with Honda, we were able to respond."

Team boss Christian Horner agrees this was a crucial part of Red Bull's journey towards their recent success.

"The most important thing was keeping the team together, focusing on the things we could control," he said of their experiences during Mercedes' dominance.

"We had great loyalty during that period. Honda shared the same passion, we took that risk, and we were then able to really start to get the foundations in place for a championship challenge."

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