Adrian Newey will not be trackside on Sunday if Sebastian Vettel wraps up his fourth consecutive world championship at Suzuka.
Germany’s Bild newspaper reports that Red Bull’s famous car designer has decided to stay at the team’s Milton-Keynes factory rather than travel to Japan.
Briton Newey is usually a fixture on the pitwall, but Bild correspondent Nicola Pohl says he has decided focusing on the all-new 2014 car is a higher priority.
“It is always important for Newey to be at the track for Seb,” Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko commented, “simply because he has expertise in all areas and can help in many ways.
“But of course he is where he is most needed, and in view of next season, at the moment that is at the factory in England,” he confirmed.
At least Vettel will have his team boss Christian Horner on hand for any Japanese celebrations, even though his wife Beverley has reportedly given birth to their first child – a daughter – back in Britain.
Vettel will be crowned champion on Sunday if he wins, and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso finishes lower than eighth.
“Sebastian has the championship firmly in his hands,” the Spaniard admitted to the German broadcaster RTL.
“He has been clearly above all the others, he does a good job and his car is excellent,” added Alonso.
He warned, however, that with a better Ferrari on track in 2014, Vettel will have a tougher fight on his hands.
“In recent years I have developed my driving skills and become more mature and complete,” said Alonso.
Ross Brawn, Mercedes team boss, said all of Red Bull’s rivals have a golden opportunity to give F1 a different world champion in 2014.
“Next season will not start like this one is going to end,” he told Brazil’s O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper. “Or at least it’s very unlikely.”
© RIF | GMM