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Christian Horner

Horner reveals how long Newey contingency plan has been in place

Christian Horner has shed light on a succession plan in place at Red Bull for when Adrian Newey decided to leave.

Horner Newey
To news overview © XPBimages

Christian Horner has revealed that Red Bull has long had a contingency plan in place for when Adrian Newey decided to leave.

The team principal of the Milton Keynes squad confirmed an existing structure at the F1 champions for when the 65-year-old chief technical officer eventually moved on, to minimise the impact of his departure.

Newey announced his Red Bull resignation in the run-up to last weekend's Miami Grand Prix, ending a nearly two-decade association that began in just the team's second season in F1.

It has been speculated the driving force behind his decision was the internal politics of the team. There have been persistent rumours of a power struggle this year after now-dismissed allegations made against Horner emerged before the start of the season. He denies it was the primary factor in Newey's exit.

"We knew this time was coming," Horner told media including RacingNews365. "With the team, and the strength and the engineering depth that we have, [Newey has chosen now] to step away.

"We've built a structure in place to be able to pick up the baton and carry on with it, and that's something that's been put in place over the last five or six years.

"We'll be sad to see him leave, but he's left the team in good shape. And we've got a great team of people and strength and depth to take us forward."

'We've managed to have him for 18 years'

Newey will formally leave Red Bull in early 2025, but it is not yet known what his next move will be. 

Prior to that, he will spend the rest of the year working on the RB17 hypercar, which is due to be unveiled at the Goodwood Festival in July, as well as attending select F1 races to support the team's trackside operations.

Considered the greatest engineer in F1 history, Newey won championships at Williams and McLaren in the 1990s before joining Red Bull in the mid-2000s, turning the team into a powerhouse.

It is known Newey has discussed a return to Williams, whilst there has also been talk of a big-money move to Aston Martin. The likely route, however, is Ferrari.

It is expected he will finally join the Italian team after previously coming close to doing so in 2014, which triggered Red Bull's decision to build a succession plan for Newey.

"Unfortunately, nothing is forever," Horner said. "Adrian was at Williams for seven years, he was at McLaren for seven years. We managed to have him for 18 years.

"I think we're well positioned for the future with the technical team that we have. We always knew this day was coming, and it's something that from 2014, when Adrian came very close to leaving, that that structure was assembled."

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