Newey doesn't use a computer.
He has his emails printed out for him. Yep. Old school.
He is an amazing designer however I am sure all his ideas need to be put into a computer to be tested.
Now on the cars downforce. The problem is these cars are bigger and wider and the tyres which are the equivalent of aerodynamic bricks are bigger too.
The power unit deficit is much more pronounced now between Renault and Merc/Ferrari.
Renault are currently using last years energy store which is heavier than the 2017 one.
And they have a big update planned for Canada.
If they can get near the power out put of the top teams, then they can then pile back on the downforce.
One thing we should see is teams using the rear wing for a lot of downforce rather than other elements so they get the maximum benefit from DRS. The rear wings have looked relatively small maybe due to using the floor and diffuser (and other things at the rear of the car) to get the rear down force.
It won't be long till the teams get the hang of these tyres, and adjust the aero to maximise overtaking potential.
Re Dan vs Max.
I think in the dry Dan has opened an advantage to Max in pure pace. It is too early to really tell but that is my gut feeling.
However Max's touch in the wet is simply amazing.
(In China Dan was made to look a bit amateur in the damp conditions early on as he was understeering. After they adjusted his front wing in his 2nd stop, and the track dried further, the advantage swung back to Dan. It was an amazing drive by Max to get 3rd that is for sure)
James Allen has linked Dan to McLaren a few times before. He is contracted to Red Bull in 2018, however if Max and Dan clash, and Honda make a dramatic turnaround, he may just pop up at McLaren in 2018.
I think both Ham and Vettel would not want to go head to head with Dan if they don't have to.
Dead nuts with the Newey thing. He's a total analog dummy (meaning he refuses to do anything on a computer which is a real shame because he's cheating himself out of growth - I have a few old fogies here who are amazing retouchers but refuse to use a tablet and pen to do their work) and if perfectly content going through life with his blinders on full cloak regarding anything computer. Who knows how much better he could be? I took engineering in High school and the teacher was a guy named Rodney Pete, who as it turns out was a factory Porsche driver int he 60's and he tasked the class with drawing out the complete plans for an F-16 manually using a bunch of old school tools, including the ever important French Curves, because he wanted us to feel what we were creating. He was right in that doing everything on the computer is absolutely precise, but that in working solely on a computer, you wouldn't feel the relation from one line flowing into another the way you would if you drew it by hand.
However, once we finished those plans, he had us redraw the entire thing in the now antiquated Autocad of the day to show us that while a computer is the superior method, knowing how to do things manually allows your brain to process information more logistically and organically, which in turn helps you be better designer in the computerized world. As I stated earlier, Newey is Gifted, but there is no way in hell he could design everything to an exacting T manually and his successes have come via the collaboration of an army of talented individuals under his guidance and tutelage.
Regarding Dan & Max, I'm not convinced Dan has opened up a gap to his teammate at all. Not even close IMPO. The way I see it is that Max has the superior touch in more areas, but his all-out ballsy attitude has cost him at times. Once he learns to bide his time in certain situations, I think Dan has no shot at besting Max. Dan is an excellent driver but I think he receives far too much hype over his terrible dive bombs which have forced other drivers to take evasive action to avoid a collision that would end their race.
I think in 2014 Dan looked better than Seb for several reasons, and Seb falling out of love with the team and the car being vastly different from what he was accustomed to for almost 5 years, dropping down in performance, while for Dan it was a major step up in performance from the Toro Rosso he drover for a few seasons and he was able to have a better feel in the cockpit compared to Seb finding the car lacking and therefore not feeling confident driving it.
I just don't see Dan as an elite driver yet and enter his current teammate, he's being shown up. I fully expect that sooner rather than later Max will be Red Bull's clear #1 driver, possibly by or before mid season even. I don't think either Seb or Lewis fear Dan one bit and this year's Vettel would invite a challenge from Dan and from what he's showed us, Lewis hasn't been afraid of anyone ever and he is confident that he is the best F1 driver and can best anyone else over a season. The 2 guys in F1 he'd have the toughest time besting are Vettel and Alonso and I'm sure he'd say so himself. Bottas thus far is keeping him honest but the season is long so time will tell how good Bottas is.
Where Dan will go in 2018, I see 2 serious options… Re-Up with his current team, or what I think is more likely, given he is a red blooded Italian… replacing Kimi at Ferrari.
I've not heard anything linking Dan to McLaren as of yet, but who knows. I certainly doubt that one, but I can definitely see him at Ferrari next year. And if he leaves, who then would be called up for the 2nd seat at Red Bull?… Kvyat or Sainz?… or would they be ballsy enough to put Gasly in that seat over either of them?