This year’s championship-winning RB6 – which took 15 pole positions and 9 race victories en route to its maiden Drivers’ and Constructors’ championship crowns – was similarly an evolution of the equally rapid 2009 car (also penned by Newey), which was beaten by Brawn GP in spite of being the quickest car overall.
Speaking with Austrian publication laola1.at, he warned: “[The 2011 RB7] is a further evolution of the current series. The DNA of the car is the same.
Newey is widely regarded as the sport’s best designer after achieving previous championship success with Williams and McLaren, and would be high on many teams’ shopping lists to poach for their own purposes.
“The  RB6 was basically an evolution of the last car; one basically turned into the next,” he continued.
Asked if the team’s forecasted success in 2011 would mean more complaints from rivals as to the legality of the team’s car, Newey answered: “I hope so!
“Because that would mean we have done a good job again. If you’re out the front in F1, everyone always thinks you are cheating,” he laughed.
The 2010 car – which pioneered the concept of the ‘blown exhaust’ (directing air brought in through the radiators to exit at the lower rear of the car to create more downforce) – was dogged by claims from rivals that its outright pace was due to it artificially lowering the car’s ride height during qualifying, as well as with the advent of flexible bodywork around the front wing.
The FIA repeatedly inspected the RB6 throughout the season and on each occasion it was found to conform to the sport’s technical regulations, which were toughened during the season to enforce more stringent flexibility tests on aero-sensitive bodywork parts.
[Original image via Sutton Images]