Home Australia Who is Adrian Newey and why is his departure from Red Bull big news in Formula 1?

Who is Adrian Newey and why is his departure from Red Bull big news in Formula 1?

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A driver and his technical director, arm in arm on a podium, bathed in champagne, smiling

The biggest news in Formula 1 this week has nothing to do with a driver, an owner or a team principal: the F1 world is talking about Adrian Newey.

The veteran technical director of Red Bull will leave the team at the end of the season and, with it, will change the complex landscape of F1.

In a year in which Lewis Hamilton announced his move to Ferrari, Carlos Sainz is receiving offers and Audi made its first move before entering F1, Newey’s availability has become the most precious commodity of all.

Newey doesn’t drive cars, he designs them, and no one has ever done it better.

F1 cars designed by him have led to 12 world constructors’ championships and 13 drivers’ championships.

He designed the great Williams and McLaren cars during the 1990s and has been Red Bull’s chief technical engineer since 2006.

Newey-designed F1 cars have won more than 200 grands prix and in the past teams courted him as if he were a driver.

Currently, the Newey-designed Red Bull has won consecutive constructors’ championships and helped Max Verstappen become a three-time world champion.

In the words of the legendary F1 journalist David Tremayne:

“Verstappen is clearly a driver as special as the great champions of the past, but no one would deny, least of all Max himself, that the greatest weapon in his arsenal is the car designed by Adrian Newey.”

It is now on the market for the first time in almost two decades.

Reports have circulated for months about Newey’s relationship with the team, as Red Bull has been dealing with infighting and an investigation into its team principal, Christian Horner, over allegations of inappropriate behavior in the workplace.

On Wednesday, the announcement that many thought was a formality was made official: Newey is on the market.

This is not the first time Newey has been treated like a driver. The Guardian reported at the time his move to Red Bull in 2006. It came after McLaren failed to meet their pay demands.

Nearly 20 years later, there’s almost no price worth paying to add Newey’s brilliance to a team.

Adrian Newey was the designer of the Red Bull cars that guided Sebastian Vettel to four world championships.(Getty Images: Clive Mason)

There is almost no doubt that teams will be lining up to secure his services.

F1 has a change in regulations from 2026, meaning Newey’s next team may give him a head start in building the next potentially world championship-winning car.

Aston Martin reportedly unveiled a deal with Newey earlier this year, sparking rumors about his future.

Newey was instrumental in turning an energy drink company into one of F1’s most legendary teams, so why not do it all again with a team whose history has been in the midfield?

However, it is speculated that Ferrari is the team with the greatest chance of obtaining the Briton’s signature.

Last year He spoke about his love for the Italian team and how he has been close to joining the team on two occasions.

Newey could imagine himself as the man who would design Ferrari’s first championship-winning car since 2008.

A move to Ferrari would also link him to Hamilton, a partnership that would generate as much fear as the Newey-Verstappen duo generates today.

Newey’s already immense legacy would be cemented in F1 history as the man who designed the car Hamilton drove to win his record eighth world title.

Mercedes and Audi, which will take over the Sauber team from 2026, are also important players who could convince Newey to join them.

Coming into this season, more than half of the drivers were out of contract at the end of the year.

The major news and drama surrounding the contracts was expected to focus on the drivers.

But that has changed with an announcement.

The off-track battle to secure Newey’s signature will be as fierce as any on-track battle between drivers, because the race for his signature could be the difference between winning and losing.

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