Adrian Newey's design genius could be the key factor that prevents Red Bull Racing's rivals close the gap on the team this season, claims his former boss Frank Williams.
The Newey-penned RB6 has been the class of the field in 2010, claiming pole position at every race and currently helping the outfit and its drivers top both World Championship tables.
And although nearest rivals McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes GP are all optimistic they can make the improvements needed to overhaul Red Bull, Williams is not so sure. Having seen Newey help his own team secure championships in the mid 1990s during his spell there from 1990 to 1995, Williams is under no illusions about how much of a benchmark talent he is.
When asked whether he believed rival outfits could close the gap to Red Bull Racing, Williams said: "With difficulty. Adrian is just somewhere else – plus he has vast experience. When he joined us in 1990 for 1991 it was obvious he knew which way the line should go – he didn't put rubbish in the wind tunnel. He is a very special person, very gifted."
Despite Williams' claims, however, Newey himself remains cool about Red Bull Racing's strong start to the season and thinks the team's main rivals have the resources and ability to make big steps in performance terms.
"They are teams with such strong heritage. I think McLaren has won this race 15 times," Newey told AUTOSPORT after Monaco. We've not been going for 15 years. It's a giant-killing performance that the team has delivered, and it's important that we keep that momentum.
"I've given up predicting what circuits we'll be good at and what circuits we won't be good at. It's proven to be very quick everywhere, but as I keep saying, we're the second year in from a very big regulation change, so the progress rate is very high. And as was proven last year, the car that's quickest at the start of the season isn't necessarily the quickest at the end of the season. It's really a question of whether we can continue to at least match, hopefully, our rivals."