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The F1 designer won 10 Constructors’ Championship titles and 150 Grand Prix with the likes of Häkkinen, Vettel and Prost. He’s still involved in the sport and has worked on new projects, including Ben Ainslie’s bid for the America’s Cup. In an onstage interview with Louise Goodman, Adrian talks about change management, risk assessment and team dynamics – and how to stay ahead of the competition in a sport where races can be won or lost by fractions of a second.
Adrian Newey has served as chief designer at Williams, McLaren, and Red Bull F1 teams. Lauded by all within the sport as one of the most influential and important people in F1, he has won more races and more titles than anyone else and has been acclaimed as Britain's greatest living engineer.
In a thirty year career which has seen him claim ten constructors’ championships, Adrian’s designs helped some of the biggest names in F1 win their titles and establish their names in Grand Prix legend. Amongst them, Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve, Alain Prost, Mika Häkkinen and Sebastian Vettel.
With a background in Aeronautics and Astronautics, Adrian has designed cars that are not just quicker, but have incorporated ever more advanced technology and equipment. He has worked on the cutting edge of materials technology and adapted to safety considerations without compromising performance. All this whilst also keeping in line with ever changing rules, commercial demands, and new engineering advances. In a sport so dependent on design, technology and engineering innovation to find those extra hundredths of seconds that separate victory from defeat, Adrian’s work has been consistently ahead of the field. He continues to work with Red Bull Racing, and has taken his design inspiration to Britain’s attempt to win the America’s Cup alongside Sir Ben Ainslie.
As well as looking at areas around innovation and planning, Adrian examines working with risk (physical and commercial), assessing performance and errors (and reacting to them) and accountability. He considers the lessons F1 takes from other sports and industries, and how that cross-pollination can be applied elsewhere. As in his book How to Build a Car, he looks at a life led innovating, understanding how things work, competing, and working with the best. Adrian also examines broader areas in team sport looking at practical leadership and teamwork, how shared goals are communicated and achieved, and the nature and dynamics of a winning team.
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