Adrian Newey has downplayed the importance of his return to duty at Red Bull, saying it's "a coincidence" that the team's form has improved since his return.
Newey injured himself in a cycling accident during the summer, missing several races as he recovered at home. This coincided with a relatively subdued run of form for Red Bull, where the team weren't the pace-setters in Italy or Russia.
Newey returned to work in Turkey, where the team couldn't match the pace of Mercedes, but still managed to outscore their rivals thanks to a second- and third-place finishes. Since then, Red Bull have been unstoppable, taking an unlikely win in the United States after an aggressive strategy call, while the team's sheer pace was unrivalled in Mexico.
"That's very kind, but maybe it's coincidence. I enjoy being here!" Newey told the F1 Nation podcast, when it was pointed out to him that his comeback was at the same time as the team's return to form.
"I'm enjoying being back. [I] missed it. Hopefully, I bring something, but it's a great team. So I just try and fill in the cracks if I see them."
Red Bull had rear wing issues at both the United States and Mexico races, with the team needing to reinforce their wings at the Circuit of the Americas, as well as taking precautionary measures in Mexico City.
Newey explained that these issues kept him busy for the two weekends.
"There's so many little bits at the track, the decisions on the details of the setup, how we use the tyres," he went on to comment.
"In Austin, we had some reliability concerns over the front wing grounding, here [in Mexico City] we had a drama with the rear wing going into qualifying post-FP3. Racecars aren't 100 percent reliable, they keep throwing things at you."
What were the wing problems?
Newey explained that the wing issues, despite being over two consecutive weekends, were completely unrelated to each other.
"We had a problem in Texas, which was completely unrelated to the problem we had here [Mexico]," he said.
"It was the same wing we would normally run in Monaco and Hungary, but because of the low air density, everybody runs maximum downforce here. The fact that you get to terminal velocity means it's actually carrying more load than it would do in Hungary, and that seemed to be what was catching us out.
"Trying to understand that and [make] hasty modifications between FP3 and qualifying, happily, seemed to do the trick."
F1 Podcast: Should Mercedes worry after Verstappen's untouchable performance in Mexico?
It's time for the latest episode of the RacingNews365 podcast, with F1 journalists Dieter Rencken, Thomas Maher and Mike Seymour discuss Max Verstappen's dominant victory and much, much more from the Mexico City Grand Prix.