Adrian Newey: Ferrari approach F1 designer after Red Bull confirm exit of chief technical officer in early 2025

Adrian Newey will leave Red Bull in 2025 after 19 years with the Formula 1 team; 65-year-old will not have to serve a period of gardening leave; follow all the reaction to confirmation of Newey’s exit by watching Sky Sports F1’s live coverage of the Miami Grand Prix this weekend

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Sky Sports’ Nigel Chiu breaks down what might be next for Adrian Newey, after Red Bull confirmed the exit of their chief technical officer in early 2025.

Adrian Newey has confirmed he will leave Red Bull in early 2025 and it has emerged Ferrari have made an approach to the legendary F1 designer.

Sky Sports News understands both Ferrari and Aston Martin have approached Newey, whose preference is Ferrari. The Scuderia have already signed Lewis Hamilton for next year on a multi-year contract.

A Ferrari representative held a meeting in the last week with Newey, who will not serve a period of gardening leave when he departs next year, leaving him free to join another Formula 1 team to help design their 2026 car.

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Aston Martin have been looking to sign Newey and held talks in the last few months, but they believe the 65-year-old is more keen on Ferrari.

Newey will not work on Red Bull’s current F1 car for the rest of this season, instead putting his efforts into Red Bull’s first hypercar, the RB17, before leaving in early 2025.

He will be at this weekend’s Miami Grand Prix and has not yet ruled out the possibility of retirement from the sport.

Newey had informally told the team of his desire to leave last week and on Wednesday, Red Bull confirmed he will immediately step back from his Formula 1 design duties to “focus on final development and delivery of Red Bull’s first hypercar, the hugely anticipated RB17”.

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Sky Sports F1 commentator David Croft says Newey’s exit from Red Bull is a ‘huge, huge story’ and his major influence on the racing team cannot be underestimated

Newey has been at Red Bull since 2006, leading the design of the cars that have taken the team to all 13 of their world titles, and team principal Christian Horner said he leaves the team as a “true legend”.

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 1, 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.

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“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.

“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.

“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.”

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Ex-Aston Martin strategist Bernie Collins is worried about how Red Bull might perform from 2026 onwards following the news that chief technical officer Newey has left the team

Newey had come close to deciding to leave Red Bull in the past, but was persuaded by Horner to remain on a deal that tied him to the squad until the end of 2025.

There is confidence at Red Bull that they have prepared for Newey’s departure by evolving their technical operations and ensuring the department isn’t, in Horner’s words, completely “reliant” on its leader.

Technical director Pierre Wache, who had been linked with a move to Ferrari himself last year, signed a contract extension with Red Bull in February and appears to be Newey’s likely successor as chief technical officer.

Along with his comments on the team being less dependent on Newey, Horner also made a comparison to football by pointing out that Manchester United remained successful after the departure of star player Eric Cantona, appearing to suggest Red Bull could continue winning without Newey.

In addition to tension between Horner and Newey, the team’s success has been clouded by a period of sustained turbulence following the investigation earlier this year by their Austrian parent company into allegations of inappropriate behaviour against Horner by a female colleague. The grievance against Horner, who has always denied the claims, was dismissed on February 28. The woman who brought the complaint has since appealed the outcome.

Following the allegations against Horner, a perceived power struggle at Red Bull has been playing out with Horner coming under heavy pressure after his star driver’s father, Jos Verstappen, called for the team principal to leave.

The series of events are understood to have further disillusioned Newey. However, while his relationship with Horner has cooled, the pair are still due to fly to this weekend’s Miami GP together, with Newey to still attend other select grands prix in the 2024 season.

Paying tribute to Newey, 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.

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Button discusses whether Newey’s departure from Red Bull might affect Max Verstappen’s future with the team. You can listen to the latest episode of the Sky Sports F1 Podcast now

“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.”

Newey is one of the most revered and successful figures in Formula 1’s history and had previously designed multiple title-winning cars for McLaren and Williams before being convinced by Horner to join a then-fledgling Red Bull team in 2006.

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Adrian Newey will leave Red Bull in the first quarter of 2025 and will immediately cease technical collaborations with the Red Bull Formula One team.

How will Verstappen react to Newey’s departure?

Sky Sports News’ Craig Slater:

“What Verstappen says on Thursday in his media briefing in Miami will be hugely significant, even if he’s relaxed about the prospect of Newey leaving because the rest of the technical team are in place.

“If he chooses to weaponise Newey’s departure, could he use it as further ammunition if he wants to engineer his own way out? I think he will send that signal without question tomorrow.

“It’s a major figure leaving the team. One of the reasons Newey is leaving is because of this wider power struggle at Red Bull between the Thai majority ownership and the Austrian 49 per cent owners.

“The perceived clash between Oliver Mintzlaff, the chief executive of the Red Bull sporting programme based in Salzburg, and Christian Horner who has not liked Salzburg interference in the team he’s built up over the years.

“That power struggle is certainly live. How this departure feeds into it, will be significant. Yes, there has been a distance between Horner and Newey which has grown over the past year. I think it’s unfair to call it a falling out.

“This is perhaps Horner losing a key ally. What does that mean in that ongoing friction at Red Bull? I think we will get some pretty clear signals over the next day or so.”

Sky Sports F1’s live Miami GP schedule

Thursday May 2
6.30pm: Drivers’ press conference

Friday May 3
3pm: F1 Academy Practice 1
5pm: Miami GP Practice One (session starts at 5.30pm)
8.20pm: F1 Academy Practice 2
9pm: Miami GP Sprint Qualifying (session starts at 9:30pm)

Saturday May 4
3.25pm: F1 Academy Qualifying
4pm: Miami GP Sprint (race starts at 5pm)
6.30pm: Ted’s Sprint Notebook
7.05pm: F1 Academy Race 1
8pm: Miami GP Qualifying build-up*
9pm: Miami GP Qualifying*
11pm: Ted’s Qualifying Notebook*

Sunday May 5
6.05pm: F1 Academy Race 2
7.30pm: Grand Prix Sunday Miami GP build-up*
11pm: Chequered Flag: Miami GP reaction*
Midnight: Ted’s Notebook*

*also live on Sky Sports Main Event

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