Newey, who is chief technical officer at Red Bull, had missed several races after hurting himself in a cycling crash over the summer break.
After hospital treatment and a fairly lengthy recovery, Newey was finally fit enough to return to working in the F1 garage at the recent Turkish Grand Prix.
Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko reckoned that Newey’s absence had not hurt his team’s form especially, but made it clear that his return was welcome as the outfit knuckles down for the end-of-season title fight with Mercedes.
Speaking to Sky F1 in Germany, Marko said that Newey was not yet back to full fitness, but was able to contribute at an important time for the team.
For his return came on a weekend when Red Bull had been caught out by the very different track surface in Istanbul, which left it battling understeer in the early running.
“We are well positioned in terms of breadth, but of course Newey is the figurehead,” said Marko, when asked about the impact of Newey’s absence.
“In the early stages we didn’t know how serious the injury was, and he had to have several operations.
“But now he is back. I don’t want to say he’s fully fit, but he is there to do his job and he also immediately recognised the difficulties we had in the set-up.”
Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing, Helmut Marko, Consultant, Red Bull Racing, and Adrian Newey, Chief Technical Officer, Red Bull Racing, speak with Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 2nd position, after the race
Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images
Marko said that meetings were planned back at its Milton Keynes base with Max Verstappen for him and Newey to work on ensuring that the RB16B was in the best shape possible for the final races of the campaign.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said after Turkey that the team was expecting Mercedes to have the advantage at the next race in Austin, before his squad could hopefully stretch its legs at the higher altitude venues of Mexico and Brazil.
“We know the next race in Austin has been a Hamilton stronghold for quite a few years,” he said. “But then Mexico and Brazil, hopefully higher altitude races tended to be quite strong for us in the past. Then I’m really not sure what to expect from the last three.
“It’s going to be fascinating, but you know we are going to have to be at the very top of our game.”