Fresh from becoming ‘Adrian Newey OBE’, we caught up with our Chief Technical Officer back at the factory to talk about surprising first pay packets, engineer’s pride and of course what it means to receive those letters after his name.
Q: So tell us, what was Tuesday like for you?
AN: I had a very special day, a day that only the English can have. I went to Windsor castle and was lucky enough to have the Queen give me my OBE. It was an absolutely amazing day, she is a phenomenal woman. We did have a quick chat when she handed the medal over, or when she pinned the medal to me I should say. She knew I was involved in motor racing. I told her I’d had the honour of meeting her once before when she opened the McLaren factory and had shown Prince Phillip around. She remembered it and recalled that I tried to get him in the car. She knew I had moved to Red Bull, so she’s obviously incredibly well informed. We had a quick chat about Red Bull and shook hands.
Q: What does it mean to you to get an OBE?
AN: It’s funny, I’m not very good at thinking about these things until I actually get there, as I tend to live in the present, so it was only really when I sat down having received it and waited to meet my family again that I thought, this is amazing. I very clearly remember getting to the end of my first month at Fittipaldi’s, the first team I worked for, and, on receiving my salary for the month, thinking ‘This is amazing, I’m actually being paid for a job that I love doing – I don’t think I’m very good at it and they haven’t even rumbled I’m not good at it yet!’ So, to be sitting there receiving an award from the Queen thirty-odd years later was an amazing experience. I’m also very proud of the fact that engineering has been recognised, in as much as obviously I’m an engineer, and therefore as a profession, we’ve been recognised. I think that unfortunately Britain does have a habit of forgetting its proud heritage in respect of the industrial revolution and its ingenuity over the years of coming up with amazing designs. So, for it to come to the forefront again in terms of an OBE made me very proud as an engineer.
Q: Where is your medal now?
AN: At the moment it’s lying on the kitchen table, but my grandfather received two medals during the Second World War, so it will be very shortly taking its place proudly alongside his two medals.
It’s a fantastic achievement and well done from all of us at Red Bull Racing
AN: Thank you very much.
Source:- Red Bull Racing
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