Red Bull announce Adrian Newey is leaving the team

LE CASTELLET, FRANCE - JULY 22: Adrian Newey, the Chief Technical Officer of Red Bull Racing looks on from the pitwall during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of France at Circuit Paul Ricard on July 22, 2022 in Le Castellet, France. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202207220602 // Usage for editorial use only //

Red Bull have announced that legendary car designer, Adrian Newey will leave the team in early 2025. The news came after much speculation and rumor that he was unhappy with the situation at Red Bull and his departure was imminent.

Speculation that he was frustrated with the events surrounding Christian Horner’s situation regarding a former employee, the power struggle between the Austrian HQ and the team in Milton Keynes as well as between the majority owner in Taiwan and Austria has all led to much guesswork as to why he has decided to leave.

Adrian is 65-years-old and there have been a few times he has wanted to leave F1 for a different challenge. Each time, Christian Horner has convinced him to stay and now 20 years later, he is finally leaving. The big question on many minds is, will he simply retire or will he be lured to another team? The other question is, what impact will his departure have on the team as the sport head’s into yet another significant regulation change?

There is no question Adrian is one of, if not the most, successful F1 car designer in the sport’s history so what impact might it have on Red Bull? I think Adrian’s role at Red Bull was critical yet reduced in the amount of time he spent in the office. That isn’t meant to marginalize his impact but I do know that the team have several brilliant designers working on their cars.

If any of those remaining designers learned anything from Adrian, then perhaps the impact will be less severe but I also think that no matter how involved he is or not, he will leave a very large hole in the team’s aero design efforts.

Having said that, Adrian isn’t unbeatable as Rory Byrne proved back in the early 2,000’s so there is hope that others will pick up the baton and continue designing amazing cars.

The next question is, will he join another team? Red Bull previously stated that there was a non-compete clause in his contract that was 12-months long and that would suggest that 2027 might be the soonest he could join another team and work 100%. However, today reports suggest that he negotiated an earlier departure and could join another team in March of 2025.

Rumor suggests that Aston Martin have offered him a deal as well as Ferrari. I think Aston seems a likelier choice but you never know, the appeal of Ferrari is strong…just ask Lewis Hamilton.

Craig Slater of Sky Sports F1 said that he had heard Adrian wasn’t much enthralled with the new Netflix era of F1 or the new regulations and if true, I could see Adrian simply bowing out of F1 for a different challenge.

There is a part of me that thinks a role at Aston Martin working on road cars, like he did the Valkyrie, and an occasional oversight of their F1 car design would seem like a great role but at 65, does he really want or need to find another job?

Red Bull Racing Press release:

Oracle Red Bull Racing today announces that Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey will leave the Red Bull Technology Group in the first quarter of 2025. The engineering supremo will step back from Formula One design duties to focus on final development and delivery of Red Bull’s first hypercar, the hugely anticipated RB17. He will remain involved in and committed to this exciting project until its completion.

Since joining Red Bull Racing in 2006, Adrian’s vision and technical leadership has been instrumental for the Team and Group in achieving a remarkable seven F1 Drivers’ and six Constructors’ Championship titles – totalling 118 victories and 101 poles including the STR 2008 pole and victory.

Oracle Red Bull Racing Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey said: “Ever since I was a young boy, I wanted to be a designer of fast cars. My dream was to be an engineer in Formula One, and I’ve been lucky enough to make that dream a reality. For almost two decades it has been my great honour to have played a key role in Red Bull Racing’s progress from upstart newcomer to multiple title-winning Team. However, I feel now is an opportune moment to hand that baton over to others and to seek new challenges for myself. In the interim, the final stages of development of RB17 are upon us, so for the remainder of my time with the Team my focus will lie there. I would like to thank the many amazing people I have worked with at Red Bull in our journey over the last 18 years for their talent, dedication and hard work. It has been a real privilege, and I am confident that the engineering Team are well prepared for the work going into the final evolution of the car under the four-year period of this regulation set. On a personal note, I would also like to thank the shareholders, the late Dietrich Mateschitz, Mark Mateschitz and Chalerm Yoovidhya for their unwavering support during my time at Red Bull, and Christian, who has not only been my business partner but also a friend of our respective families. Also, thanks to Oliver Mintzlaff for his stewardship and Eddie Jordan, my close friend and manager.”

Oracle Red Bull Racing Team Principal and CEO Christian Horner said: “All of our greatest moments from the past 20 years have come with Adrian’s hand on the technical tiller. His vision and brilliance have helped us to 13 titles in 20 seasons. His exceptional ability to conceptualise beyond F1 and bring wider inspiration to bear on the design of grand prix cars, his remarkable talent for embracing change and finding the most rewarding areas of the rules to focus on, and his relentless will to win have helped Red Bull Racing to become a greater force than I think even the late Dietrich Mateschitz might have imagined. More than that, the past 19 years with Adrian have been enormous fun. For me, when Adrian joined Red Bull, he was already a superstar designer. Two decades and 13 Championships later he leaves as a true legend. He is also my friend and someone I will be eternally grateful to for everything he brought to our partnership. The legacy he leaves behind will echo through the halls of Milton Keynes and RB17 Track Car will be a fitting testament and legacy to his time with us.”

Adrian’s first true design for the Team, RB3, achieved a podium finish at the 2007 European Grand Prix. The following year his design achieved the Group’s first victory with Sebastian Vettel and Toro Rosso at the Italian GP. Following regulation changes and a unique ability to capitalise on them – something that has become a hallmark of Adrian’s stellar Red Bull Racing journey – his clean sheet RB5 design brought the Team its first win, at the Chinese Grand Prix in 2009, and five further victories that season.

In 2010 RB6 carried the Team to its first double title victory, an achievement that was repeated in each of the following three years. The introduction of hybrid power to F1 in 2014 led to leaner times and a first step back from sole F1 commitment for Adrian to allow creation of the Valkyrie hypercar.

The arrival of Honda as the Team’s power unit partner in 2019 reignited his competitive spark. RB16B brought a first Championship in eight years in 2021. An extensive regulation change for the following season resulted in another clean sheet design, the RB18, leading to a new era of dominance starting in 2022 and continuing to this day.

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Plot twist, he’s going to RB Visa CashApp.