MILTON KEYS, UK – A Formula One team is all about the people, but away from the racing what makes our team members tick? We speak to our Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey.
Q1: What’s the best way to spend a day off?
Newey: Pre-season and the start of the season have been busy, so relaxing at home has been the current favorite. But generally, it’s a bit of tennis, very occasionally water-skiing or, if it’s a nice day, a drive with a stop at a pub for lunch.
Q2: Name one thing, aside from what you do, that you’re good at?
Newey: Not tennis! Actually, I’m a decent artist. A friend runs a charity called Face Britain, which involves people doing self-portraits. So, for the first time in ages, I’ve picked up some paint brushes and I really enjoyed doing that. If I had more time I’d love to do more, but time is the huge issue. I get really little time to indulge my hobbies.
Q3: Do you collect anything?
Newey: Not really. I enjoy getting paintings for the house if I spot something, or antique furniture, but I don’t go out of my way to get them.
Q4: If you’re on a long-haul flight how do you get through it?
Newey: I like them because there’s no pressure to do anything. You do a bit of paperwork and then just indulge yourself, watching films.
Q5: What attributes do you need to be successful in motor racing?
Newey: Resilience because there will be a lot of knock backs that you have to pick yourself up from. Determination to get things done against the odds, a competitive spirit and, hopefully, a reasonable IQ.
Q6: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Newey: When I said I wanted to be an engineer, my father said: “Be a good one because it’s generally not a well-paid industry.” The other good piece of advice I received was during my first year at university. I was studying aeronautical engineering and found it hard. Because of the exam system I’d been through, my mathematics was quite poor. I almost quit because I couldn’t do it. I was offered a job at March engineering by a guy called Ian Reed, who said: “We’ll give you a job, but my advice would be: Don’t accept it and get your degree, as you’ll be a much better engineer for it.” So I persisted and got through the degree course.