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Adrian Newey

Ex-Ferrari engineer predicts Red Bull mass exodus upon Newey departure

Former Ferrari engine engineer Ernest Knoors foresees major issues for Red Bull if and when Adrian Newey decides to depart - this coming amid heavy speculation the chief technical officer is set to leave the team.

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To news overview © XPBimages

Adrian Newey is believed to be nearing the end of his Red Bull tenure. Whilst it has not yet been confirmed, it is understood the 65-year-old is unhappy at the team and is seeking an exit, with a number of rivals mooted as potential next homes for him in F1.

Amid the speculation and uncertainty surrounding the situation, RacingNews365 spoke to former F1 engine engineer Ernest Knoors, who worked for the likes of Ferrari and BMW.

The Dutchman foresees a mass exodus at Red Bull if Newey does decide to depart, drawing upon his own experience to inform his view.

"I went through this myself at Ferrari," he explained as a point of comparison.

"At one point the Michael Schumacher period came to an end there, Ross Brawn then also left. When such a leading person decides to go, it's always something you have to wonder about: where is this going?"

'It always creates question marks'

Newey, a veteran of Leyton House, Williams and McLaren is currently chief technical officer at Red Bull, having joined the team in 2006.

However, recently, stories have emerged suggesting the 65-year-old's role is less involved with car development than it used to be. It is believed that Pierre Waché is increasingly stepping into the role once filled by Newey.

But for Knoors, this does not matter when you consider the influence Newey holds at Red Bull.

"Whether Waché has more influence doesn't really matter that much. When such a leading figure of your team and such a greatness leaves, it always creates question marks with the people who work under it. It creates unrest in that organisation," he contended.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

'Who else is going to leave?'

As to whether this could trigger others leaving en masse, Knoors believes it could, suggesting a big name departure can cause discontent in the ranks.

"It makes people, engineers and mechanics, more open to offers from other teams," he said, before adding: "And you always have that with a team that performs at the top of its game for a very long time.

"At some point people then start looking around, maybe the people who are not quite at the top. Are there opportunities? Are there openings on other teams where they can step up?"

Knoors emphasised the importance of creating stability and not allowing a vacuum to develop.

"It is the big risk for Red Bull. The stability of the team. What else is going to happen? Who else is going to leave?" he continued.

He went on to highlight the critical role Christian Horner will have to play, with the 50-year-old needing to instil peace within the team. As for if he is capable of doing so, given the current climate at Red Bull, Knoors doubts it.

"At some point a strong leader, in this case Christian Horner, does have to make sure he keeps enough techies and bright minds in that team. And is Christian Horner currently the undisputed and impeccable leader who can provide that? That may well be questionable."

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