It might be coincidence, but this years (albeit slow) return to form, often punching above their weight on power alone in the last few Grand Prix’s seems to indicate a return of the “Newey Effect”. It has been reported before Newey’s (Chief Technical Officer) full time return the F1 project was managed by a committee and lacked a certain direction.
A paddock insider told me:
“It was identified what was missing, and many issues were raised, things were tried, but Adrian’s return gave us a definite and clear direction to work towards starting with weight and positioning“
“Once this was addressed there has been much carbon work on the floor plan / aero, and the results are starting to show”
Newey was reported to be “… excited by the regulation change for ’17…” and has now regained a lead roll in the F1 team following time away on the Aston Martin / Red Bull hypercar project.
It may be just a little late to finish the constructors championship higher than third, and they are still “up in the air” when it comes to power units, but then you can never bet against a Newey chassis. Now they have stopped publicly slating their engine, all they need to is investigate possibilities once the dust has settled and keep there eyes open to what options are left available to them. I am not convinced they wont stay with Renault (sorry TAG) for the moment but perhaps keep one eye on Honda in the next year or two.