Fanzone Blog:

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A Formula One team is all about the people, but away from the racing what makes our team members tick? We speak to our Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey …

What’s the best way to spend a day off?

Pre-season and the start of the season have been busy, so relaxing at home has been the current favourite. But generally, it’s a bit of tennis, very occasionally water-skiing or, if it’s a nice day, a drive with a stop at a pub for lunch.

Name one thing, aside from what you do, that you’re good at?

Not tennis! Actually, I’m a decent artist. A friend runs a charity called Face Britain, which involves people doing self-portraits. So, for the first time in ages, I’ve picked up some paint brushes and I really enjoyed doing that. If I had more time I’d love to do more, but time is the huge issue. I get really little time to indulge my hobbies.

Do you collect anything?

Not really. I enjoy getting paintings for the house if I spot something, or antique furniture, but I don’t go out of my way to get them.

If you’re on a long-haul flight how do you get through it?

I like them because there’s no pressure to do anything. You do a bit of paperwork and then just indulge yourself, watching films.

What attributes do you need to be successful in motor racing?

Resilience because there will be a lot of knock backs that you have to pick yourself up from. Determination to get things done against the odds, a competitive spirit and, hopefully, a reasonable IQ.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

When I said I wanted to be an engineer, my father said: “Be a good one because it’s generally not a well-paid industry.” The other good piece of advice I received was during my first year at university. I was studying aeronautical engineering and found it hard. Because of the exam system I’d been through, my mathematics was quite poor. I almost quit because I couldn’t do it. I was offered a job at March engineering by a guy called Ian Reed, who said: “We’ll give you a job, but my advice would be: don’t accept it and get your degree, as you’ll be a much better engineer for it.” So I persisted and got through the degree course.