Race on to recruit Adrian Newey following Red Bull departure


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Although his contract was due to run until the end of 2025, the legendary Formula 1 designer has seemingly come to the decision to leave Red Bull early after becoming unsettled at the recent goings on at the team.

There have been the well-publicised allegations from a female employee of sexual harassment and controlling coercive behaviour against team principal Christian Horner, plus reports of a feud between Horner and motorsport director Helmut Marko.

Newey is also known to have been frustrated at the power struggle at Red Bull between the majority Thai (Chalerm Yoovidhya) and minority Austrian (Red Bull Gmbh) ownership.

Add to that Horner’s apparent attempts to downplay Newey’s importance to the team, and it’s easy to see why he has decided to move on.

As one would expect, there’s already been plenty of speculation as to what the future holds for Newey, and there’s no doubt that his talents will be much sought after by rival teams, particularly as it appears that Newey is no longer bound by the 12-month “non-compete” clause in his contract that would have made him unavailable to join another team until 2027.

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There have already been reports in the Italian press indicating that he has met Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur in London to discuss the possibility of a deal. The Italian team would certainly appear to be in pole position to secure Newey’s services as things stand.

There is also an offer on the table from Aston Martin, although that doesn’t appear to interest Newey. There’s little doubt that other teams will be looking at the possibility of moving for such an influential figure in the sport. That said, both Mercedes and McLaren seem to be distancing themselves from any such moves at present.

Before Newey bids farewell to Red Bull, with whom he has been employed since 2005, he has pledged to continue focusing on building the forthcoming RB17 super-car.

Red Bull and Max Verstappen are the dominant forces in F1 at present, with the former available at best odds of 1/33 with BoyleSports to win the Constructors’ Championship this year, and the 26-year-old Dutchman 1/33 for the Drivers’ Championship with Coral.

Those odds might be prohibitive, but you couldn’t back against either with any confidence whatsoever. Newey deserves an awful lot of credit for that level of dominance.

It’s also important to remember that, before Verstappen, Newey was also at Red Bull when they won four consecutive Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles with Sebastian Vettel from 2010-14. Prior to that, he also had championship winning success at both Williams and McLaren. Nobody in F1 has a CV that can compare.

The next issue for Red Bull could be the future of their record-breaking driver. Verstappen has hardly been vocal in his support for Horner following the aforementioned allegations but had expressed his desire to see the senior team at Red Bull stay in place.

Verstappen’s contract doesn’t expire until 2028, but confirmation of Newey’s impending exit could make him increasingly restless. Mercedes is already looking to tempt Verstappen and recent developments at Red Bull will only increase their belief that they will be able to tempt the champion to join them.

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