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Mika Hakkinen

Hakkinen details 'worrying' aspect of Newey departure

Having built several championship-winning cars for Red Bull, Adrian Newey will soon end his 19-year association with the Milton Keynes-based team.

Verstappen Miami Thursday 2
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Two-time Formula 1 world champion Mika Hakkinen has stated the prospect of Adrian Newey working for another team will be “worrying” to Red Bull and Max Verstappen's title hopes.

Earlier this week Red Bull confirmed Newey will depart the squad in early 2025.

His exit comes as teams switch focus to the 2026 challengers which will be built under a new set of technical regulations.

Red Bull has dominated the field across the last two seasons and has cruised to championship success since 2022 with cars designed by Newey.

With the 65-year-old linked to projects at other F1 teams, Hakkinen outlined other engineers could soon follow the renowned car designer through the exit door.

“The news that he is going to stop working on the F1 car is important for at least three reasons,” he told Unibet.

“First is the impact on the team if key personnel design to follow him, whether due to the politics inside the team or if they discover that Adrian is going to another team such as Ferrari.

“The second is whether the remaining team feels destabilised by these events. When a team loses its captain someone else needs to fill that role immediately, otherwise you have confusion.”

'The effect on Verstappen'

Verstappen, who has also been linked with a move away from Red Bull, has denied Newey's decision will impact his own future.

Hakkinen sees Newey's departure as a blow to Red Bull's hopes of maintaining its position at the head of the pecking order, which could prompt Verstappen to look elsewhere.

“We have to watch the effect this has on world champion Max Verstappen,” Hakkinen stated.

“While this year’s car is not going to become less competitive, and the 2025 car is likely to be an evolution, the 2026 car will be built under a completely new set of regulations.

“Adrian will have already started to conceive that design, but he won’t be around to finalise or deliver it, and more worrying for Max is the prospect for Adrian to be working for another team by this time next year.”

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