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The University of Southampton

Southampton graduates help win Formula One world championship double

Published: 24 November 2010

The University of Southampton offers its congratulations to former student Adrian Newey, who helped power Red Bull Racing to the Formula One drivers and constructors world championships.

Adrian Newey, who is the world’s most successful Formula One car designer, led the engineering team to victory with a car that won nine races on the way to the constructors’ crown. Graduating in 1980 with a degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics, Adrian’s undergraduate project was designing a sports car in the University’s extensive RJ Mitchell wind tunnel complex, which is still used by today’s students on the same course.

Speaking about how the course influenced his career, Adrian says: “In engineering, a good understanding of physical laws and how they can be applied is vital. Southampton’s Aeronautics and Astronautics course gave me an excellent basis for establishing this blend in a manner that has stood me in good stead throughout my career.”

University of Southampton Vice-Chancellor, Professor Don Nutbeam, says: “It is exhilarating to see how our alumni are leading the world in the pinnacle of motorsport. By providing them with a solid academic foundation they are able to excel in their chosen careers and reach the top of their profession.”

Adrian Newey

Dr Kenji Takeda, Senior Lecturer in Engineering Sciences, adds: “Adrian is not the only Southampton graduate in the team, with many more alumni from our Aeronautics and Astronautics undergraduate course, our unique MSc Race Car Aerodynamics course and extensive PhD programme, also developing the car. Even current students, on placement with the team, have been contributing while still studying for their degrees.

“Our graduates work for many of the current Formula One teams and we probably provide more aerodynamicists to Formula One than any other university in the world.”

With a world-class wind tunnel complex that helped the British cycling team and Amy Williams to gold-medal success in the Beijing and Vancouver games, the University of Southampton is well-placed to educate the high performance engineers of tomorrow.


The University of Southampton has over five decades of research and development expertise in the high technology world of performance sport. Find out more here.

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