Adrian Newey commits himself to Formula 1 Red Bull team
Red Bull design chief Adrian Newey has said he cannot see himself ever leaving the team he has helped turn into the dominant force in Formula 1.
The 52-year-old joined Red Bull from McLaren in 2006. The team has won the world titles for the last two seasons and is expected to be the team to beat in 2012.
"I can't see myself going anywhere else," said Newey, regarded as the best motorsport designer in the world.
"To leave for another team would be a little bit like walking out on my children."
The last time it is known another team tried to tempt him away was when Ferrari approached him in 2010, but such is the regard in which Newey is held that the subject recurs regularly.
But speaking on the opening day of the first pre-season test in Jerez, Newey said he felt so inextricably linked with Red Bull that leaving would be almost impossible.
"I've been involved in the team from very early on," he said, "feel very centrally involved in it, and am proud we've managed to get from the ashes of Jaguar (its former iteration) to where we are today.
"That in itself brings a huge amount of satisfaction and there's a slightly paternal feeling of wanting that to carry on."
He added: "So long as I am enjoying it and people want me to work here, I'll carry on doing so."
Last year, his car helped Sebastian Vettel produce one of the most dominant seasons in history, with 11 wins and a record 15 pole positions on his way to a second consecutive world title.
The latest Red Bull had an encouraging first day's testing with Mark Webber at the wheel, setting the fourth fastest time.
But Newey said he was concerned that Red Bull might have been hurt disproportionately by a new rule banning the blowing of exhausts along the rear floor even when the driver is off the throttle.
The technology, which Red Bull pioneered, was credited with giving the team much of their edge in 2011.
Newey said: "Last year's car was designed around that, whereas perhaps other people copied ours and therefore hadn't designed the car around (it). So if you lose that, it stands to reason perhaps that you might lose more than other people. We've tried to work hard to mitigate that. But it's a lost technology and we can't reinvent it."
Nevertheless, the new Red Bull RB8 has already attracted nervous glances from rivals - it contains a feature that none of the other cars have.
That is a hole in the top of the nose in the region of the front suspension, an area where most cars now have a pronounced step because of a new rule that requires lower nose tips, while the maximum height of the top of the chassis has remained the same as in 2011.
There has been speculation that the hole could be a clever device to aid cooling or boost aerodynamic performance, but Newey denied that.
"The slot at the base of the ramp to the nose into the front bulkhead is simply driver cooling," he said.
"Traditionally that is right at the front of the nose. Really for styling as much as anything we moved it where you now see it to break up the aesthetics of the ramp that is required by the regulations."
He admitted that the steps in the noses were "not particularly attractive", but said it was a necessity of the new rules.
"Performance has to come before aesthetics and this is no exception," he said.