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Christian Horner

Horner denies Red Bull unrest behind Newey departure

Christian Horner has silenced suggestions that Adrian Newey's exit could lead to further Red Bull departures, including Max Verstappen.

To news overview © XPBimages

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has stressed that the departure of Adrian Newey has "absolutely" nothing to do with the reported power struggle at the Milton Keynes-based outfit.

The big news ahead of this weekend's Miami Grand Prix was the confirmation from Red Bull that their chief technical officer will be stepping down, before leaving at the end of the first quarter of 2025.

It has been suggested that Newey had become frustrated with the political turmoil at Red Bull after a complaint against Horner was lodged by a female employee in February. The grievance was eventually dismissed, but tension within the team has been high.

But Horner has rubbished the idea that Newey's departure is to do with the ongoing situation, and that it had already been in the works for a year.

"No, absolutely not," stressed Horner to Sky Sports F1 when asked if the departure was to do with the unrest.

"I think this has been coming for some time. There was a discussion pretty much 12 months ago that it might have been the time for Adrian to look at stepping back.

"So I know it's been on his mind for some time, and it's been something that we've been having to plan for, and what better time to go than with a run of form that we've had over the last couple of seasons with the way that the team is performing?

"He's stepping aside, not leaving the company, but stepping aside from Formula 1, while we're right at the top of our game, and we'll be very sad to see him go.

"He's been an immense part of our team over the last pretty much two decades. But it'll be with sadness that we see him depart."

Verstappen going nowhere

The big question following the Newey announcement is whether it would impact Max Verstappen's Red Bull future.

Verstappen has repeatedly been linked with a dramatic move to Mercedes in recent weeks, despite him being under contract until at least the end of 2028.

Losing Newey is significant for Red Bull, as the leading side has never won a race without the top designer.

Horner has stressed, though, that the 65-year-old's exit will not result in the reigning world champion following him out of the door.

"You report those rumblings every week, but he's still here," snapped Horner. "And that makes us very happy in the team.

"He's got a wonderful group of engineers around him, he's got a great car, the best car on the grid. He's driving in the form of his life.

"And it's not about contracts, it's about being content.

"That's the same for any driver, he has that, he has that dynamic around him and I think that what you're seeing with him is a driver that's revelling in that environment."

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