Brawn and Newey continue their rivalry

Adrian Newey is the archetypal Formula One boffin, Ross Brawn the tactical brains who masterminded Michael Schumacher's string of titles.

The two Britons' rivalry as technical directors provided a constant thread through the 1990s and first half of the current decade and, after a brief lull, has resurfaced as fierce as ever this season.



While Newey's former employers McLaren struggle for pace and Brawn's ex-team Ferrari seek to recover from their worst start to a season, the old opponents are back at the top in new uniforms.



"Our paths seem to cross consistently over the years," Brawn agreed at last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix before his Brawn GP team took the chequered flag one-two ahead of the two Red Bulls designed by Newey.



"I was sort of relieved that he (Newey) had gone into a bit of a quiet period until this year. But he's back again with a vengeance."



After five races, the former Honda team that Brawn gave his name to following a management buy-out have won four times with Britain's Jenson Button and are leading the championship by a healthy 29.5-point margin.



Their closest challengers, and the only other team to have won a grand prix this year, are Red Bull with a strikingly quick car.



"We do seem to keep clashing against each other on the track, which is great," said Newey, whose calm and thoughtful exterior masks a passion for speed that has given his employers a few jitters over the years when he has raced some of his classic sportscars.



"It's interesting that we end up that way because, whilst at various times we have occupied the same job title, the way we go about doing the job could hardly be more different.



"Despite that very different approach, both appear to have their results," added the 50-year-old.



Brawn, 54, and Newey were briefly work-mates at FORCE, the Haas-Lola team who entered in 1985-86, but since then have been on opposing sides.



A trainee at the British Atomic Energy Research Establishment, Brawn entered Formula One as a machinist with Williams but had left long before Newey arrived as chief designer in 1990 from the short-lived Leyton House team.



Newey helped to design the Williams cars that took Britain's Nigel Mansell and France's Alain Prost to the titles in 1992 and 1993 respectively while Brawn had taken on the technical director's role at Benetton in 1991.



In 1994, the pendulum swung Brawn's way with Schumacher's first title for Benetton followed up by a second in 1995.



Newey's cars won four drivers' titles and five constructors' crowns in his time at Williams but he moved to McLaren as technical director in 1997.



At the end of 1996, the softly-spoken 'Big Bear' Brawn, who has a penchant for munching bananas on the pit wall, had followed Schumacher to Ferrari and the stage was once again set for him and 'Schuey' versus Newey.



Newey's McLaren MP4-13 was a winner in 1998 with Finland's Mika Hakkinen, who won the title that year and the one after, while Brawn's Ferrari team won the constructors' championship six years running from 1999 to 2004.



Schumacher won five titles in a row from 2000.



By the time Brawn left Ferrari, taking a year out to travel the world and go fishing when Schumacher retired at the end of 2006, his Italian employers had enjoyed their most dominant period ever in the sport.



This season both men have benefited from a radical change in the rules and the fact that their teams were not competitive in the previous year, giving them more time for innovative approaches.



"I like these big rule changes, I find them stimulating," said Newey, who joined Red Bull in 2006 and also designed the Toro Rosso that Sebastian Vettel drove to victory in Italy last season before winning with Red Bull in China this year.



"I've known Adrian a very long time and I'm a huge admirer of his work," said Brawn, who could be found only a few hours after the Barcelona win queuing up with F1 fans and holidaymakers for a budget airline flight home.



"He works completely differently to how I do," added the Manchester-born engineer, who joined Honda as team principal last year only for them to pull out in December.



"I'm not on a drawing board any more. My approach is more about harnessing engineers and helping them understand what they need to do and try to manage the situation.



"Adrian is much more hands on and is actually coming up with the stuff himself."



Newey, whose wife was far from pleased when he celebrated Red Bull's one-two in China by taking one of his classic cars out on to the front lawn and performing wheel-spinning turns, agreed.



"Ross is obviously a gifted engineer...from what I hear he takes a fairly managerial approach to the job of technical director," he said.



"Whereas my interest and strength really has never been management. What I love and what gets me up is design in the broadest sense of the word.



"The overall performance package of the car is what I find exciting about motor racing. I like being hands on."



New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all