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Newey: McLaren made a huge leap forward... by copying us

NEWS STORY
31/03/2011

Adrian Newey, whose cars have won titles for Williams, McLaren and Red Bull, paid a back handed compliment to his former team tonight as he collected the prestigious Segrave Trophy.

The Englishman referred to McLaren's decision to change its controversial exhaust layout in the wake of less than promising test results. As media speculation that the English team had dropped the ball began to build, team boss Martin Whitmarsh announced a radical re-thing just ahead of the season opener.

"McLaren made a huge leap forward... by copying our exhaust, it has to be said," said Newey at tonight's presentation in the RAC Club in London's Pall Mall. "But the bottom line is they still made huge leaps forward. I am sure they will be pushing us hard.

"We think it works for us. It seems it also works for McLaren," he continued, referring to the new simpler exhaust system and floor the Woking team introduced in Melbourne. "It's a form of flattery but it's a bit of a pain if they then beat you with it."

On the subject ok KERS, Newey revealed that the team had hoped to use it but opted not to in the wake of reliability issues. However, the Austrian outfit hopes to run the system in Malaysia.

"If we feel it's reliable then we will try to race it," he said. "We will have to make that decision on Friday evening (in Malaysia). KERS is a benefit off the start line. So even if you are on the front row, without KERS there's a risk that you won't be first into the first corner."

The Segrave Trophy, is named after Henry Segrave, and is awarded to those whose achievements are deemed to put them on a par with the man who held world speed records on both land and water in the 1920s. Previous recipients of the prestigious award include Malcolm and Donald Campbell, Stirling Moss, Bruce McLaren, Jackie Stewart, Barry Sheene, Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill and Lewis Hamilton.

"To receive such an illustrious and distinguished trophy like this, it almost sends shivers down my spine," said Newey, "when I look at the names that have received it in the past I feel very honoured."

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