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You can only hire one
Fernando Alonso 16%  16%  [ 23 ]
Lewis Hamilton 18%  18%  [ 26 ]
Sebastian Vettel 10%  10%  [ 14 ]
Kimi Räikkönen 12%  12%  [ 17 ]
Adrian Newey 34%  34%  [ 50 ]
Rory Byrne 8%  8%  [ 11 ]
Paddy Lowe 1%  1%  [ 1 ]
Ross Brawn 2%  2%  [ 3 ]
Total votes : 145
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 Post subject: You can only hire one
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:03 pm 
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A question that I have been mulling over in my mind for a while, I guess since the whole "Alonso: I'm fighting Newey" episode of last year is where exactly people strike the balance between driver and designer in the sport.

Obviously, the car does count for about 90% of the performance versus 10% for the driver, but the head designer is not responsible for all of that performance, and the teams would get a lot of that performance without the best designer available.

Originally I was just going to ask "If you were Red Bull and could only keep either Vettel or Newey, which one would you keep" - however I felt if I limited it just to those two it would ultimately turn into a flamewar focused on Vettel. So, after thinking about it I decided I would ask the question about the 4 top drivers (as determined in the poll on this forum a couple of months ago) versus 4 of the top technical people (which, I have selected based on the fact that three of them have been linked with periods of success (Newey, Byrne and Brawn) and Paddy Lowe because everyone seemed to want him a couple of weeks ago.

So the question is, essentially:

If you were setting up a team with an Red Bull sized budget but were only able to hire one of the people in the poll, who would it be?

Anyone you don't hire will be hired by another top team, but obviously you would have the possibility of people not on the list in your team (although not a monopoly of the rest of the talent, so you can't say you'd just hire every other top designer/driver other than those on the list)


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:07 pm 
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Honestly I'd hire Rory Byrne over Newey. Byrne matched speed with reliability years before Newey did in the early 00s. Every fast car Newey built between the early 90s and 2009 was weak with reliability bar the 92 Williams and the 98 McLaren, Byrne had consistent reliability and speed for years with Ferrari and previously with Benetton.

He's probably cheaper right now as well. I also still think the car designer is more important than the driver at the moment, especially with 2014 round the corner.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:07 pm 
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Alonso, clearly (imo) the best driver even in an inferior car

If he's taken then Hamilton as he was only just behind Alonso, faster driver but 1 or 2 slight errors more due to less experience

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:11 pm 
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It is not an easy question. Like the majority (as I write this, things may change with the next votes) I chose Alonso, but on second thoughts I think that at the moment Newey seems to be way ahead of other engineers, while the difference among drivers seems to be not that significative. So maybe you are better off with Newey and one of the top drivers you did not put in your list, like Button or Webber.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:12 pm 
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Laura23 wrote:
Honestly I'd hire Rory Byrne over Newey. Byrne matched speed with reliability years before Newey did in the early 00s. Every fast car Newey built between the early 90s and 2009 was weak with reliability bar the 92 Williams and the 98 McLaren, Byrne had consistent reliability and speed for years with Ferrari and previously with Benetton.

He's probably cheaper right now as well. I also still think the car designer is more important than the driver at the moment, especially with 2014 round the corner.

Exactly, and this was my reason for including technical people other than Newey on the list, because while Newey is flavour of the month at the moment he's by no means the only genius when it comes to car design. While I think that the poll between designers will be mostly focused on those two, with a bigger spread for those favouring the drivers, there are two aspects to the poll - partly to see who people perceive as having the biggest impact between the individuals, but also to see where public opinion puts the balance between designers and drivers. So that's why I put an equal number of drivers and designers/technical people


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:19 pm 
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tricky! and I am curious no-one has yet voted vettel?
re the technical guys - choice/decision does have to be slightly dependent on other factors like timescales for results, reg changes, etc, etc - a la Merc now, they are building a team - hiring Newey tomorrow won't help them much til next year! etc..just sayin....


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:25 pm 
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FringeUK wrote:
tricky! and I am curious no-one has yet voted vettel?
re the technical guys - choice/decision does have to be slightly dependent on other factors like timescales for results, reg changes, etc, etc - a la Merc now, they are building a team - hiring Newey tomorrow won't help them much til next year! etc..just sayin....

For the purposes of this poll, this has to be looked at as a long term investment, obviously. Assume on a 4 year contract (and for those four years the other 7 cannot be employed)

Equally, though, if the car is duff then hiring Senna at his prime isn't going to suddenly have it fighting for wins.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:44 pm 
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I agree with Laura actually with regards to reliabilty of Neweys cars. So the obvious choice was the Ferrari designers. I was stuck between Byrne and Brawn. Although Byrne is a really good designer, if feel Brawn has tactical experience too now that he has headed the very successfully Brawn GP team and to some extent the Mercs. Hence my choice would be Brawn

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:56 pm 
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Maybe a controversial choice but I chose Vettel. He is still young, still getting faster and already got 3 titles under his belt. I know most will say Newey is responsible for them, and don't get me wrong I agree to an extent, this does not diminish the fact that Vettel is a fantastic driver. I'd take him.

Maybe I'd even take a 2013 Ferrari approach, get a baseline car that can keep up with the others, then let my driver do the rest. Sebastian is capable.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:17 pm 
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I voted Byrne, if he's as good as he was 10-20 years ago. Followed by Raikkonen, because he's supposedly good for development and the like.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:22 pm 
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I'd chose Bryne. Newey may be at the top right now but go back 10 years and it was Bryne leading the way. And as other's have said Bryne's cars were fast and reliable, something which Newey's car's mostly lack.

I wouldn't go with a driver purely because I think a designer has a much larger influence on the success of a team than a driver. Designers can also stick around for much longer without loosing too much, if any of their talent.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:51 pm 
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Newey for me, but as Laura pointed out above Byrne was better. I just think he may have faded in the meantime.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:55 pm 
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Interesting that it is 3:2 in favour of the drivers at the moment, but with Newey in the lead as the overall individual.

It's also interesting that the leading driver Alonso, with the budget and entire resources of Ferrari behind him, has still yet to win the WDC in three years of trying. This isn't said as a criticism of Alonso, but rather pointing out that the driver considered to be the best on the grid in one of the best financed teams has still yet to deliver the silverware.

For the sake of balance, Adrian Newey didn't win until his 5th season and that took a major regulation change to enable him to reset the running order.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:04 am 
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No love for Lowe?

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:16 am 
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Laura23 wrote:
Honestly I'd hire Rory Byrne over Newey. Byrne matched speed with reliability years before Newey did in the early 00s. Every fast car Newey built between the early 90s and 2009 was weak with reliability bar the 92 Williams and the 98 McLaren, Byrne had consistent reliability and speed for years with Ferrari and previously with Benetton.

He's probably cheaper right now as well. I also still think the car designer is more important than the driver at the moment, especially with 2014 round the corner.


That is incorrect.
The 1993 Williams was bulletproof, Prost did not have a single mechanical failure all year. Hill had 2/3. I.e. significantly better than Red Bull have managed in 2010-2012 when reliability is a lot more common.
The 1994, 1996 and 1997 were all more reliable than the 1998 Mclaren which in itself was not that unreliable and far more reliable than any other team was managing at the time.

Mclarens became unreliable 1999-2000 and then again 2004-2006.

So Newey has designed fast and reliable cars for 6/7 years between 1992-1998 before losing his way a bit.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:18 am 
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Rory Byrne for me. Newey would also be a decent signing.

But the one i would go all out for, no compromise to sign, is the one and only Collin Chapman.

agree with this
Quote:
So maybe you are better off with Newey and one of the top drivers you did not put in your list, like Button or Webber.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:21 am 
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dizlexik wrote:
No love for Lowe?


Although he is excellent and IMO on the technical and managerial level similar to Newey, Mclaren alwasy seem to get something (at east) wrong during a season so most don't share my regard for him.

Won't be surprised if he gets no vote at all.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:24 am 
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Historically Newey has re-acted best to big rule changes.

2009 - he developed the best package (that has contunued to this day) but everyone was caught out with the DD early in the season.
2005 - with the new aero regulations Mclaren had the fastest car
1998 - the new smaller cars he hit the ground running.

Looks good for Red Bull going into 2014.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:38 am 
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lamo wrote:
Laura23 wrote:
Honestly I'd hire Rory Byrne over Newey. Byrne matched speed with reliability years before Newey did in the early 00s. Every fast car Newey built between the early 90s and 2009 was weak with reliability bar the 92 Williams and the 98 McLaren, Byrne had consistent reliability and speed for years with Ferrari and previously with Benetton.

He's probably cheaper right now as well. I also still think the car designer is more important than the driver at the moment, especially with 2014 round the corner.


That is incorrect.
The 1993 Williams was bulletproof, Prost did not have a single mechanical failure all year. Hill had 2/3. I.e. significantly better than Red Bull have managed in 2010-2012 when reliability is a lot more common.
The 1994, 1996 and 1997 were all more reliable than the 1998 Mclaren which in itself was not that unreliable and far more reliable than any other team was managing at the time.

Mclarens became unreliable 1999-2000 and then again 2004-2006.

So Newey has designed fast and reliable cars for 6/7 years between 1992-1998 before losing his way a bit.

Prost had an engine failure in the Italian GP of 1993 and we all know even then Newey liked to shrink wrap his aero round the engines... 4 Mechanical failures in one year for a top team is still quite a lot really.

The 1994 car was a bloody difficult car to drive because Newey couldn't get his head round the removal of the tricks of 93. It took him most of the year to sort it out. 95/96/97 were slow evolutions of one another much like the Red Bull's have been recently. They should have been pretty reliable. Renault also worked closely with Williams at the time to help with engine issues.

The 1998 McLaren was probably one of his more reliable cars, but it did have it's moments. DC in Monaco, Hakkinen in Hungary, Hakkinen in Monza.

But Byrne was superior for reliability in the 00s. By far. Schumacher went from mid 01 to early 05 without a single technical failure retirement I believe. Barrichello had a few tech troubles but none on the scale McLaren were having in the same time frame.

McLaren's were unreliable from 99-06. Only in 07, funnily enough the first non Newey McLaren since 98, did they start matching Ferrari reliability.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:30 am 
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Laura23 wrote:
lamo wrote:
Laura23 wrote:
Honestly I'd hire Rory Byrne over Newey. Byrne matched speed with reliability years before Newey did in the early 00s. Every fast car Newey built between the early 90s and 2009 was weak with reliability bar the 92 Williams and the 98 McLaren, Byrne had consistent reliability and speed for years with Ferrari and previously with Benetton.

He's probably cheaper right now as well. I also still think the car designer is more important than the driver at the moment, especially with 2014 round the corner.


That is incorrect.
The 1993 Williams was bulletproof, Prost did not have a single mechanical failure all year. Hill had 2/3. I.e. significantly better than Red Bull have managed in 2010-2012 when reliability is a lot more common.
The 1994, 1996 and 1997 were all more reliable than the 1998 Mclaren which in itself was not that unreliable and far more reliable than any other team was managing at the time.

Mclarens became unreliable 1999-2000 and then again 2004-2006.

So Newey has designed fast and reliable cars for 6/7 years between 1992-1998 before losing his way a bit.

Prost had an engine failure in the Italian GP of 1993 and we all know even then Newey liked to shrink wrap his aero round the engines... 4 Mechanical failures in one year for a top team is still quite a lot really.

The 1994 car was a bloody difficult car to drive because Newey couldn't get his head round the removal of the tricks of 93. It took him most of the year to sort it out. 95/96/97 were slow evolutions of one another much like the Red Bull's have been recently. They should have been pretty reliable. Renault also worked closely with Williams at the time to help with engine issues.

The 1998 McLaren was probably one of his more reliable cars, but it did have it's moments. DC in Monaco, Hakkinen in Hungary, Hakkinen in Monza.

But Byrne was superior for reliability in the 00s. By far. Schumacher went from mid 01 to early 05 without a single technical failure retirement I believe. Barrichello had a few tech troubles but none on the scale McLaren were having in the same time frame.

McLaren's were unreliable from 99-06. Only in 07, funnily enough the first non Newey McLaren since 98, did they start matching Ferrari reliability.


1993 - 4 mechanical issues in 32 races. The most reliable on the gird. Everything is relative to the best at the time and that was the best, simple as that. In comparison the 1998 Mclaren had 6.

Yes 1994-1997 were evolutions, but you made a statement saying the only fast/reliable cars were 1992 and 1998. The point of my post was to point that out as factually incorrect.

So 4 mechanical failures is too high in 1993.
Ferrari had;
2000 - 5 failures
2001 - 2 failures
2002 - 4 failures
2003 - 2 failures
2004 - This car was bulletproof
2005 - 4 failures

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:09 am 
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In the age where driver involvement is becoming less of a determinant factor, I picked Newey. Now lets say you threw in a wild card in Aryton Senna, and I'd say he's the about the only driver that could take a car to the next competitive level, so naturally he be my pick. Really this thread needs two choices, no current driver or engineer makes a big enough difference to overcome a serious lack in the other.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:55 am 
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Alienturnedhuman wrote:
Obviously, the car does count for about 90% of the performance versus 10% for the driver,


You are mistaken. It is 50/50.

I think sometimes people are thinking about something very specific when they call these percentages. Perhaps you are as well. But logically, it can't be anything other than 50/50. One absolutely cannot function without the other. As to whether a driver or car is living up to their full potential (contributing 100% of their possible 50% to the combination) is a different question.

In any case, that is what makes your poll very complex. Which 50% are you going to bank on? Car or Driver?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:58 am 
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Well unfortunately I chose Alonso. imo he pips Lewis and Seb as a driver and it is only 1 person who actually drives the car. No matter how good any technical director or a designer is they are only 1 person and no use without knowing you have the right team behind them.

Hope that made sense!

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:05 am 
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Alienturnedhuman wrote:
Interesting that it is 3:2 in favour of the drivers at the moment, but with Newey in the lead as the overall individual.

It's also interesting that the leading driver Alonso, with the budget and entire resources of Ferrari behind him, has still yet to win the WDC in three years of trying. This isn't said as a criticism of Alonso, but rather pointing out that the driver considered to be the best on the grid in one of the best financed teams has still yet to deliver the silverware.

For the sake of balance, Adrian Newey didn't win until his 5th season and that took a major regulation change to enable him to reset the running order.


Not really... can't necessarily win the silverware if are unable to provide the 'best' equipment. Kinda like Arsenal in a respect.

It's clear though that the car makes a big difference. What's telling is that Alonso has not been given the fastest equipment over the past 3 years but has challenged for 2 out of 3 titles in slower cars compared to the McLaren and Red Bulls.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:17 am 
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Put Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel in a Marussia, you won't get wins.
Put Webber, Massa, ... in the best car, you will get wins and a WDC challenge.

Based on that you would have to choose for the lead technical designer. But that would mean you're placing the responsability solely with that lead designer.

In short, I can't answer. Newey is great, Byrne had a great stint, same for several others, but then again their successes are/were being turned into results by Vettel, Schumacher, ...

The thing is, the question is flawed as it is. You only get to pick one top driver or one top designer, and the others will go to top teams. So while you could, e.g., only take Alonso at RBR and take a "second-tier" designer, Vettel and Newey could be joining forces at Ferrari and take the fruit of both a top driver and and a top designer.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:45 am 
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Newey. It would be silly to hire a top driver if you don't have a top designer to put a top car under his bum. The quality of the car will show itself even if you don't have the fastest or best driver in the world driving it. What Red Bull showed us over the past half-decade fits this path perfectly. Edit: so did McLaren in 1981-'84.

Once you have a car that threatens to win championships, drivers will come knocking on your door. First things first, Räikkönen will have to wait a bit. :D

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:59 am 
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Grosjean would probably have been fine last year if he had started on pole like Vettel so often does, so I would definitely go for a designer over a driver.
RB have by far the biggest budget, they can outspend and so outperform any other team as long as they competent designer. Considering the budgets and relative performance, I would go for Lotus's Allison, If Grosjean had finished those extra 9 races, he would easily have finished the WDC in 6th, or maybe even 4th depending upon who he took points off of, and Lotus would definitely have taken 3rd in the WCC, maybe 2nd.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:40 am 
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Newey...closely followed by Rory Byrne

On the drivers side, would have to be Alonso

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:22 am 
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bourbon19 wrote:
Alienturnedhuman wrote:
Obviously, the car does count for about 90% of the performance versus 10% for the driver,


You are mistaken. It is 50/50.

I think sometimes people are thinking about something very specific when they call these percentages. Perhaps you are as well. But logically, it can't be anything other than 50/50. One absolutely cannot function without the other. As to whether a driver or car is living up to their full potential (contributing 100% of their possible 50% to the combination) is a different question.

In any case, that is what makes your poll very complex. Which 50% are you going to bank on? Car or Driver?

On that logic you have a 50/50 chance of winning the jackpot in the lottery, you either win it or you don't. Or the driver, designer and front wheel gun guy have a 33/33/33 share in the performance.

The car does account for a much bigger proportion of the performance than the driver. Alonso/Hamilton/Vettel couldn't get in the Top 10 in a Caterham but Karthikeyan could fight for podiums in a Red Bull. The 90/10 split is obviously not an exact, scientific split, it is just a common split used in natural language discussions as a ball park figure to demonstrate that one half is more significant than the other.


BrazilLastCorner2008 wrote:
Newey...closely followed by Rory Byrne

On the drivers side, would have to be Alonso

The purpose of the poll is not who is the best driver, and who is the best designer, otherwise I would have done two separate polls. The point of the poll is to find out whether people think the driver or designer is more important.

The reason I put multiple drivers down is because had I just done "Vettel vs Newey" is because a lot of Vettel detractors would have just voted Newey, plus it is an opportunity to pit other drivers against Newey (and other designers) to see if there is a driver rated higher than him.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:23 am 
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Adrian Newey seems like the most sensible option, but anybody have any idea how big salary do guys like Newey have? I assume it's much less than what top drivers have.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:34 am 
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Newey would be my choice; he's had perhaps the most succesful long runs of building the top car: Williams 1991-1997, Mclaren 1998 -2007 and Red Bull 2009-2012.

But Laura makes a very interesting point about Byrne. Something I would not have thought of.

pat Symonds says that the one part of Brawn's team that has been missing is Byrne.

Imo the car is/has always been far more important than the driver, as the OP stated. Any one of five or so drivers could win the WDC, which has always been the case in F1.

Interesting posts like this provide alternative views.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:57 am 
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I found this the most difficult poll to vote in. Somehow, you immediately think of who you consider the best driver but then you think, even though they are great, what if they end up with a dog of a car? So then you start thinking that you should vote for a designer, but who? Sure, Newey has been so successful with Red Bull in the last few years but then there is Rory Byrne, how do you ignore him? Then you think, ok, I could have a reasonably good car with a reasonably good driver, but who is going to do the strategy & get that right &, strategy can be so very important, depending on the circumstances? Faced with these questions, I almost didn't vote but in the end it went to Rory Byrne :D .


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:04 pm 
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You need a good car more than a good driver. I would go for Newey. Byrne was great in his hay day but just because somebody was better 10 years ago does not mean they will still be the best.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:00 pm 
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dizlexik wrote:
No love for Lowe?

It's ironic, really, that he has no votes at all given that the McLaren has been the second most successful constructor since the 2009 regs change (and considering how bad their first year was, that's saying something - since '09: Red Bull 34 wins, McLaren 20 wins, Ferrari 10 wins, Merc/Brawn 9 wins)

I think that's because in McLaren there is less individual credit, particularly since Newey left, it's a McLaren car, the product of the team and it's processes rather than any one individual. Despite the fact that the Red Bull is designed by many many people as well, and Newey oversees them, the Red Bull car is still seen as a Newey car.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:08 pm 
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Laura23 wrote:
Honestly I'd hire Rory Byrne over Newey. Byrne matched speed with reliability years before Newey did in the early 00s. Every fast car Newey built between the early 90s and 2009 was weak with reliability bar the 92 Williams and the 98 McLaren, Byrne had consistent reliability and speed for years with Ferrari and previously with Benetton.

He's probably cheaper right now as well. I also still think the car designer is more important than the driver at the moment, especially with 2014 round the corner.



excellent points :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

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I voted for Newey. But it is important to note that anyone with hopes of accomplishing great things requires a team and environment suitable for their needs.

I wanted to vote for Flavio, but his name wasn't on the list. ;)


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:03 pm 
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Blinky McSquinty wrote:
I voted for Newey. But it is important to note that anyone with hopes of accomplishing great things requires a team and environment suitable for their needs.

I wanted to vote for Flavio, but his name wasn't on the list. ;)

Actually, it would have been interesting to put Todt, Dennis, Flavio and Horner on that list as well, to have Drivers vs Technical vs Team Principals.

Maybe next time.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:28 pm 
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Alienturnedhuman wrote:
Blinky McSquinty wrote:
I voted for Newey. But it is important to note that anyone with hopes of accomplishing great things requires a team and environment suitable for their needs.

I wanted to vote for Flavio, but his name wasn't on the list. ;)

Actually, it would have been interesting to put Todt, Dennis, Flavio and Horner on that list as well, to have Drivers vs Technical vs Team Principals.

Maybe next time.


It sure would be food for thought and create interesting debate...


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:46 pm 
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I chose Alonso. Personally I think Adrian Newey's role in Red Bull's success is a little over-stated. Yes he's probably the top engineer in the pitlane but Red Bull's success hasn't been down to him alone. He has a very talented team of engineers working beneath him and it's this whole engineering team that has brought Red Bull their recent success. When Red Bull were in their 'building' phase pre-2009 they didn't just hire Newey, they had an aggressive recruitment strategy that resulted in them bringing in top engineers from a number of teams up and down the pit lane. I reckon you put the same engineering team working under Byrne, Lowe or Brawn and you'd see the same result. I think the technical directors get too much credit.

I would also argue that the cars these days are very closely matched and it is making the driver much more important. An extra three tenths in qualifying could make a massive difference in the coming season.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:53 pm 
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lol nobody wants Paddy

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