Fernando Alonso & Lewis Hamilton Credit Adrian Newey as Key to Vettel's Success

Craig ChristopherAnalyst IOctober 30, 2012

Only a genius would take goggles onto the podium!
Only a genius would take goggles onto the podium!Clive Mason/Getty Images

Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton have delivered a slap to reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel by attributing all of Vettel’s success to the Red Bull design genius Adrian Newey.

Fernando Alonso was lamenting Ferrari’s lack of competitiveness on his own website and summed it up as:

...but now we are fighting against Newey and, at the moment we cannot match him.

Hamilton was not to be outdone, telling The Sun:

Seeing Sebastian dominate the last few races doesn’t come as a surprise because the Red Bull has been dominant for the past few years.

They seem to have a great capacity to improve the car. Adrian is just a genius. I can’t even imagine what he’s doing. He is a one-off.

While they are both absolutely correct that Newey is a genius and the pre-eminent designer in the Formula One paddock, the car does not drive itself.

The RB8 has developed into a standout car, but it took some time to gain the upper hand—unlike the RB6&7 before it—and while Vettel and the Red Bull seem like they have the championship in their grasp, things have changed frighteningly quickly this year.

But while the RB8 has gained an ascendancy, it is Vettel’s flawless performance behind the wheel that is delivering the results. His teammate, Mark Webber, is in an identical machine but is failing to deliver equivalent results.

Besides, both Alonso and Hamilton know what it’s like to drive the best car on the track and how it doesn’t necessarily deliver a world championship..

The 2007 McLaren MP4-22—interestingly an evolution of a Newey-designed car—was an outstanding car and yet neither Alonso nor Hamilton could take it to a championship.

A championship is only won with consistent high performance.

Mistakes are not tolerated, neither is mediocrity. Vettel has proven time and again over a period of almost three years that he is capable of withstanding pressure, of producing consistent, flawless laps at very high speed.

He has not been gifted two world championships. He will not have been gifted this one either, should he consolidate his lead and claim the title.

Alonso—a two-time world champion—knows this, as does Hamilton. Neither of them won their titles by default, they did it by doing what Vettel is doing now—making the most of every little advantage.

And maybe also the great big advantage that is Adrian Newey.