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Adrian Newey

Newey's likely destinations after surprise Red Bull F1 exit

Adrian Newey looks set to leave Red Bull, his home in F1 for the past 18 years. If that is to happen, as it is expected, where might be the next stop in his long career?

Newey Ferrari
Analysis
To news overview © XPBimages

Adrian Newey, the legendary F1 designer and engineer, is set to leave Red Bull – his home in F1 since 2006.

Having joined before the start of Red Bull’s second campaign in F1, Newey helped guide it to six constructors’ and seven drivers’ titles – four for Sebastian Vettel and the most recent three for current champion Max Verstappen.

However, the chief technical officer is reportedly unhappy with how the Christian Horner saga played out, and the multi-faceted internal power struggle that has emerged since, despite Horner being cleared of all allegations.

Newey is contracted until the end of the 2025 F1 season, but RacingNews365 understands he is likely to leave early, at the end of 2024, with the suggestion he can negotiate his way out of his existing deal to join a new team.

It is not yet known if, and how long, any gardening leave might be. But if we are to play out either possible timeline, there remains the possibility he will not be joining his new team until 2026.

Newey began his F1 career in the late 1980s with Leyton House, before moving on to winning championships with both Williams and McLaren. However, the 65-year-old is not expected to return to either current team.

The former is unlikely in part due to its current standing in F1, whilst the latter is expected to be the only top five team not to court Newey.

That leaves Ferrari, Aston Martin, and Mercedes as the most likely destination for him. There is also the outside chance he retires altogether.

Ferrari

Instinctively, Ferrari feels like the natural fit. There has always been an air of ‘two ships passing in the night’ or the ‘one that got away’ when it comes to Newey and Ferrari, with the most recent approach coming in 2014, before Newey stayed loyal to Red Bull.

It is certainly the romantic option, a poetic final chapter to the storied career of the man who many consider the best F1 designer of all time.

Plus, with Lewis Hamilton joining the Scuderia next season, the allure of winning championships together at Ferrari might be too much to pass up.

			© Photo4
	© Photo4

Aston Martin

Aston Martin is known to have put an offer on the table for Newey’s services. Lawrence Stroll is not messing around and is determined to turn the team into a championship-winning outfit come the new regulations cycle in 2026.

How much of an impact Newey – likely with gardening leave to boot – would be able to have by then remains to be seen, but Aston Martin’s ambition cannot be disregarded.

Newey left the comfort of McLaren all those years ago for a plucky, upstart insurgent outlier in Red Bull. Could he be tempted again?

With Honda, a partner Newey is familiar with, also teaming up with the Silverstone squad, there are plenty of reasons to join.

Plus, Fernando Alonso is now signed on, so the possibility of working with him could be a draw. However, whilst Lance Stroll occupies one of the two seats in the team, there is not the belief that Aston Martin can seriously challenge the establishment of Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull.

Then again, are Newey’s motivations winning more championships, or is he after a fresh challenge?

			© Photo4
	© Photo4

Mercedes

The only team to beat Newey since he started winning with Red Bull in 2010, Mercedes does feel more unlikely than either Ferrari or Aston Martin, but you can never count the eight-time constructors’ champions out.

Newey does not seem like the type, but joining Red Bull’s most fierce rivals would be quite power play. You’d have to respect it.

To add further ammunition to the theory, Mercedes is very keen on prizing Max Verstappen away from Red Bull as well. The Dutchman is contracted until 2028, but there is believed to be a Dr Helmut Marko-sized break clause in his deal, which could facilitate an earlier departure if the 80-year-old were to leave. This does not directly relate to Newey, but it certainly could be a factor in his thinking.

In Mercedes, a little like Ferrari, Newey would have the opportunity to restore a fallen power to its former glory, rebalancing F1 in the process.

			© Photo4
	© Photo4

Retirement

The last option, of course, is that Newey walks away from F1 altogether. He will be 67 years old come 2026, British retirement age, so it is not entirely out the question.

Then again, it is not like continuing to work for the financial means is a factor for someone of Newey’s stature, so it really comes down to whether he feels he has something left to give or prove.

If he does not, then he may opt to call time on a historic career, and nobody would be able to fault that decision.

So, really, it all comes down to whether the fire is still there. If it is, one of the aforementioned three is his likely next home in F1. If it is not, retirement may well win out.

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