2024 World Car Person of the Year announced

2024 World Car Person of the Year announced 2024 World Car Person of the Year announced
Adrian Newey OBE is lauded after Red Bull's record-breaking 2023 season.

The countdown to the announcement of the 2024 World Car of the Year ticked closer this week with the World Car jury panel - representing more than one hundred journalists from 29 countries (including yours truly) - declaring their 2024 World Car Person of the Year.

The overall winner was Adrian Newey OBE, aerodynamicist and Chief Technical Officer of the Red Bull Formula One team, awarded in recognition of his and the team's success in the 2023 FIA Formula One World Championship with the all-conquering RB19 racer.

A year of domination

The RB19 won 21 of 22 races in the season - a 95.45 per cent success rate - making it the most dominant racing car to have ever lined up on the F1 grid. The racer helped Red Bull achieve its sixth constructors' championship, while Max Verstappen earned his third consecutive drivers' title.

The jury voted for Newey from a group of five finalists compiled by the journalists that make up the World Car Awards judges. He was up against Stephan Durach (Senior VP Connected Company Development at BMW Group), Andreas Preuninger (director of Porsche's GT model line), CV Raman (Chief Technology Officer of Maruti-Suzuki) and Lisa Reeves (Head of Interior Design at Volvo).

Past winners of the World Car Person of the Year include SangYup Lee (Head of Hyundai), Luc Donckerwolke (Executive Vice President for Design at Hyundai), Akio Toyoda (Toyota), Carlos Tavares (CEO of PSA Group), Sergio Marchionne (FiatChrysler) and Hakan Samuelsson (Volvo).

A stellar career in motorsport

Newey started out working for F1 and IndyCar teams before graduating to become a racing car designer in IndyCar and sports prototypes with instant success, and he joined the March F1 team in 1988. With declining performance for the March team - renamed Leyton House - Newey found himself at Williams in 1991, working alongside Patrick Head to create the FW14. That car's evolution, the FW14B, was the racer that catapulted Nigel Mansell to success in the 1992 F1 season.

After a dry patch at Williams, Newey headed to McLaren, where his MP4/13 helped Mika Hakkinen to two titles, and then in 2006 he went to Red Bull on a $10 million a year contract - proving that Newey had the pulling power of the fastest drivers when it came to salary.

While Newey has threatened to retire on occasions throughout his later career, he has been a major influence on Red Bull's racing success, culminating in 2023's dominant season.

The next event on the path to the World Car of the Year announcement takes place at the Geneva motor show on 26 February, when the Top Three finalists for the main Car of the Year prize are lined up together on the show floor.

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Published on February 22, 2024