Newey’s Red Bull exit discomfort and biggest F1 future hint yet


Adrian Newey has given his biggest indication yet on whether he will stay in Formula 1 following his exit from Red Bull – while also explaining how uncomfortable he found revealing his impending departure.

Newey is widely regarded as Formula 1's greatest ever designer, having won titles at three teams: Williams, McLaren and Red Bull, as his stint draws to a close after nearly two decades.

Various factors, including the recognition Newey has received for his role in Red Bull's current success and the controversy surrounding team principal Christian Horner, fueled Newey's desire to leave the team he had been instrumental in transforming from start-up to world champion.

News of his departure broke in stages ahead of the previous Formula 1 race in Miami, before it was finally officially confirmed on May 1-30.y Anniversary of Ayrton Senna's fatal crash at Imola driving a Newey-designed Williams.

It is understood that Red Bull had intended to avoid this appointment, given its importance to Newey, but made the announcement due to widely publicized reports of his exit.

Speaking to his friend and manager Eddie Jordan at the Oyster Yachts event at the historic Monaco Grand Prix last weekend, Newey deflected a question about praise given to him by upcoming Ferrari driver Lewis Hamilton amid speculation that this is where Newey could go too.

Newey admitted that Hamilton's kind words make him feel good, even though “that's not why I got up,” and then quickly went on to explain why the weekend in Miami was “a really weird race for me.”

“The news just came out in the press on a very unfortunate day,” he continued.

“It was 1 May, the terrible 30th anniversary of the horrific events at Imola. So, it is a very difficult and unfortunate day to issue this press release.

“But then the Miami Grand Prix was strange because I was there in a strategy function and therefore I was in the pit wall.

“But I wasn't involved in any of the engineering decisions or in any of the engineering meetings. I was flown in mainly for the press. That's not what keeps me up, and I never thought about it.”

“I never thought it would be such big news to be completely honest, and I never thought about it.

“So to have it appear in all the newspapers and on TV and so on is almost a shock.”

Farewell letters indeed

Newey's presence in Miami makes it one of the last races he will attend with the team before he goes on gardening leave before his official departure in the early months of 2025. It is understood he will likely be on site at the races to speak to buyers for his Red Bull-powered RB17 supercar. By building it.

The RB17 will be publicly unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed ​​in July, so Newey's presence in F1 racing should diminish quickly. He has already taken the opportunity to deliver three farewell words across the engineering team trackside, the race team in the garage, and at the factory.

“Those were very difficult and very emotional things for me,” Newey said.

“I've been at Red Bull almost since the beginning, and I've been centrally involved with Christian in how we develop the team, Christian on the general side and me on the engineering side, the culture, the ethos, the way we approach things, the infrastructure, etc., even the planning. building, etc.

“I went into it and took a big career gamble, because a lot of people thought it was suicidal at that time at the end of 2005.

“Going from McLaren, where we won 10 races that year, to this rookie team that actually had a reputation of being the party team and not quite knowing where we were going to go, and then winning the first race and getting the duo with Sebastian [Vettel] And Mark [Webber] In China in 2009. Then going on and winning the championship in 2010. And everything that's happened since then.

“Stepping away from that was a very difficult decision. There's a decision I felt I needed to make for a whole host of reasons.

They were my family. I felt a great degree of responsibility. Likewise, the teams are now very mature and well organised. That in itself gives me an opportunity to be able to get away, do new challenges, do new things.

Hint the big future

Since the first reports that Newey was unhappy with Red Bull and wanted to leave, there has been speculation about where he could go next. Ferrari are the main contenders to sign him having previously failed on at least two occasions.

Newey will need remote working arrangements with the freedom to participate in the design process at his convenience, based on what he has come to enjoy and excel at with Red Bull. This kind of super-advisory role could be hugely valuable to Ferrari in preparing for the new car rules in 2026 – even if Newey joins once initial concept work is partially advanced.

It is clear that any prospect of a move to Ferrari, or to another team with Aston Martin frequently linked although he has officially denied making an offer for Newey, would be conditional on Newey actually wanting to work for another team in Formula One. Some have suggested his exit from Red Bull will lead straight into retirement, but Newey has given his strongest hint yet that he will only take a temporary break when his gardening sabbatical begins.

He revealed that a combination of factors, including seeing what retirement was like for his father, and speaking to motorsport professionals Bernie Ecclestone and Roger Penske, encouraged him to remain actively involved for longer.

“If you had asked me 15 years ago, would I have seriously considered at 65 years old changing teams, going somewhere else, working another four or five years, whatever? I would have said you were absolutely crazy,” Newey said.

“And then kind of…a few things happened at once.

“My dad was a vet, he was a real car enthusiast, he had a little workshop with a milling machine and stuff, and he was always tinkering and modifying his cars and playing with them.

“If I'm honest, it's emotional to say this, but he lost his way in his retirement.

“I thought he would be quite happy to keep messing around with cars and stuff, and he's lost his magic a little bit.

“And kind of a combination of that, and then I asked a couple of people I respect a lot, Bernie and Roger Penske, ‘What’s your secret?’ — because they just keep going and going, and so for their age they’re exceptionally mentally and physically agile.

“They both said that old thing that the brain is like a muscle, it needs exercise. So you have to keep doing it.

“Also, I had wanted to work in motor racing as a designer, ever since I was eight or 10 years old. And I was lucky enough to realize that ambition, as I got that first job and it was in motor racing ever since. So every day was… Just a bonus I just love what I do.

“At some point, I think I'll have a little vacation. I'm feeling a little tired at the moment. But at some point, maybe I'll go again.”



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