We’re in the age of austerity. Don’t worry; this is no political diatribe but the reluctant voice of the whole F1 paddock.

Ferrari Red, Williams Blue or Renault Yellow; whichever way you look there’s a realisation that the big bucks just aren’t there anymore. I can’t think who to represent the Greens. Guess that’ll be the 2013 regulations.

The window in which to get things right is shrinking – just ask Ross Brawn. Where money and time were once the most valuable conduits to success, teams now have to make full use of the most advanced piece of technology known to man – the human brain.

Of course Formula One has always been choc full with the biggest brains out there, but none epitomise lateral left side thinking than Adrian Newey; a man who’s eye for ingenuity has been sharpened during a period of ever changing regulations. He’s set a number of trends many teams have tried to follow.

Most have only gone as far as a humble nose job. With Adrian Newey’s work however, beauty runs more than skin deep. For two years running Newey has been successful in designing a car with so much more fundamental speed, that his competitors have been left floundering.

Even with the raft of upgrades all the top teams have made this weekend, every sign points to Red Bull been able to maintain their dominance in qualifying, and bar problems with spark plugs or car jacks, the race.

The days of beating round Maranello or some other test track seem long ago, so the pressure to make sure that what happens in the wind tunnel happens on the track is higher than ever.

McLaren have become prolific at development. KERS made up for some of last years deficiencies but still took a third of the ’09 season to really pull things together. This season the development path has been much smoother, and while they have extra straight line speed in the shape of their ‘f-duct’, this years piece of design controversy is unlikely to make up for larger short falls.

Ferrari has looked strong aerodynamically though their engine has proved to be their weakest link. Mercedes’ radical changes to the air intake system will have definitely got some attention. How those changes affect Michael Schumacher’s performance will be the real talking point there though.

There will always be fluctuations in fortunes over the season as the cars develop at a rate of knots. With that said, Red Bull are showing there really is no substitute for baseline innovation.

Don’t be surprised to see next year’s cars featuring the pull-rod rear suspension of the Red Bull. We’ve heard how difficult the system was to package and how it required further ingenuity in so many other areas like the gear box.

Such lateral thinking will always require best use of the grey-est matter, and Ingenuity is Adrian Newey’s middle name.