Adrian Newey set to leave Red Bull F1 team

Newey has decided to leave Red Bull after a two-decade stint as the team’s stalwart designer, playing an instrumental role in designing the cars that propelled Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen to a total of seven drivers’ world championships and six constructors’ titles for Red Bull.

The news of Newey’s impending departure was first reported by German outlet Auto Motor und Sport and has since been confirmed to Motorsport.com by sources with knowledge of the situation.

Despite only signing a fresh Red Bull deal last year, Newey’s future at the Milton Keynes squad has been the subject of intense speculation in recent weeks.

Red Bull is still embroiled in an ongoing internal power struggle between the Thai side of the business, which supports team principal Christian Horner, and the Austrian side including team advisor Helmut Marko.

The issue came to a head at the start of the 2024 season after an internal investigation into allegations of misconduct by Horner against a female member of staff, a probe which dismissed the claims against the 50-year-old.

Newey is understood to be unsettled by Red Bull’s situation and the saga around Horner, which has led to a shock decision to inform the team management that he has decided to walk out.

Adrian Newey, Chief Technology Officer, Red Bull Racing, speaks with Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The news presents a huge blow for Red Bull, which is currently cruising to another world championship with Verstappen and its dominant RB20.

Verstappen still has a contract with the squad until the end of 2028, but made it clear in recent weeks that his future of the team heavily depends on all the “pillars” of its success remaining in place.

The Dutchman is informally known to have an exit clause in his deal in case Marko leaves the organisation, but it is not known if he has a similar option for a departure by Newey.

Newey’s next move is not yet known. As previously reported by Motorsport.com, the 65-year-old received a big-money offer from Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll over the Saudi Grand Prix weekend.

He has also long been admired by Ferrari, whose advances he has repeatedly turned down in the past.

The terms of Newey’s gardening leave are understood to be the subject of further talks.

When asked to comment, Red Bull made the following statement: “Adrian is contracted until at least the end of 2025 and we are unaware of him joining any other team.”

Previously, Newey designed the Williams that helped Damon Hill win the 1996 world championship. He then moved to McLaren, where he also found success conceiving Mika Hakkinen’s championship-winning cars in 1998 and 1999.

He stayed with the Woking team until Red Bull convinced him to join its ambitious project in 2006.

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