Christian Horner admits that Red Bull have had discussions to prepare for when Adrian Newey decides to retire.
Newey joined the outfit back in 2006, bringing with him the experience of designing championship-winning cars for Williams and McLaren.
He has gone on to achieve the same at Red Bull; the Milton Keynes squad claimed back-to-back Drivers' and Constructors' titles between 2010 and 2013 with Sebastian Vettel, before once again clinching both championships in 2022 alongside Max Verstappen, as well as Verstappen taking the Drivers' crown in 2021.
Newey will turn 65 towards the end of 2023 and, while his various projects would suggest that he is not yet ready to retire, Horner has revealed that the team have already tried to prepare for when that day comes.
Horner on Red Bull's future
With Newey's involvement across different branches of the company, Horner feels that this has led to other members of the team being given increased responsibilities.
"It's something that obviously we've looked [at] and discussed for a period of time," Horner told Australian outlet Speedcafe of the possibility of Newey's retirement.
"Adrian's role as Chief Technical Officer has evolved, of course, with [the] Advanced Technologies [department] and the RB17 [hypercar] that we announced earlier in the year.
"He splits his time across various projects, and that's forced the other guys to step up.
"We have Pierre Wache as Technical Director and the technical team. They've done a fantastic job, and obviously Adrian feeds into that and works closely with that group.
"He's got an encyclopedia of knowledge, but it's great to see the strength and depth that we have technically and the way that they've delivered."
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The challenge for Red Bull in 2023
Red Bull and Newey's next challenge will be to maintain the momentum of their championship-winning success as they head into 2023.
The team have been hit with a $7 million fine – along with having to forfeit 10 per cent of their aerodynamic development allowance – after being found to have breached the 2021 cost cap.
Horner admits that the aerodynamic restriction is "painful", but he has faith that the squad can manage the impact of the penalty.
"Of course, it's painful. It forces us to be efficient and [to be] very choosy in the runs that we do," the Red Bull boss explained.
"It's just something that we've got to manage. It certainly is a handicap rather than a benefit, so let's see how it plays out.
"But we'll be doing everything that we can to mitigate the damage that it could potentially cause."
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