’New era’ dawns at Red Bull as Newey eyes Ferrari

"It’s really important to have the quickest car"


3 May 2024 - 09:03
'New era' dawns at Red (...)

A "new era" has dawned for Red Bull, as rival teams line up to sign the departing Adrian Newey.

Even Mario Andretti, representing the GM-backed team that is yet to even get approval to enter Formula 1, is putting up his hand to snap up the sport’s most coveted and suddenly-available technical genius.

"That’s a simple question - 100 percent yes," the 1978 world champion laughed to NBC News.

If 65-year-old Newey chooses to move to another team rather than begin to step away from F1, it appears much more likely that he will join Lewis Hamilton at Ferrari.

"Negotiations for the brilliant engineer are at an advanced stage," reports the Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

Seven time world champion Hamilton, still with Mercedes but set to be a Ferrari driver from 2025, doesn’t hide that he would "very much" like Newey to head to Maranello.

In Miami, he denied that Newey joining was actually a condition of his own Ferrari deal.

"I mean, this is all private conversation stuff," said Hamilton. "I can’t tell you. I can’t tell you what was in the discussions.

"But if I was to do a list of people that I’d love to work with, he would absolutely be at the top."

And Hamilton’s 2025 teammate, incumbent Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc, said on Thursday: "I think we’re in a good place to attract the best people in the world.

"Adrian is one of those guys that can make a difference."

Newey has also been linked with Aston Martin, but Fernando Alonso insisted in Miami that the Silverstone based team doesn’t necessarily need the famous Briton.

"We already have very good engineers," said the Spaniard. "And with a new addition of his calibre, the question always arises as to how he would fit in with the rest of the team."

For now at least, Red Bull is putting a brave face on the major blow of losing Newey. "I think it’s normal to have this sort of movement of people," Sergio Perez said, "but I think the organisation remains really strong and I don’t see any more changes coming."

Indeed, technical director Pierre Wache is staying at Red Bull - even if a bigger question mark hangs over whether Max Verstappen might be starting to look at the exit door.

"No, not at the moment," the triple world champion said when asked if Newey leaving makes him question his own commitment to Red Bull.

"At the end of the day, we have a really strong group of people that maybe aren’t talked enough about in the press," Verstappen added. "It’s really important to have the quickest car and of course a good environment.

"That’s what we have currently, even if I would have preferred him to stay. But I think if you knew what was already happening inside the team and how it works, it’s not as dramatic as it seems."

However, former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher thinks Verstappen is just putting a brave face on the situation for now. "I think he’s already looking for a new place," the German told DPA news agency.

"The only question is when this transition will take place - 2025 or 2026," Schumacher added. "But anyway, I’m convinced that he wants to leave."

And Schumacher said the situation could get even worse than that for Red Bull.

"Other engineers will follow him because they want to keep working with Adrian Newey," he predicted. "The atmosphere in the team is far from ideal, to put it mildly. This is not what Dietrich Mateschitz wanted.

"What is happening now is shameful and sad," said Schumacher. "I believe it is the beginning of a new era for Red Bull and that he is not the last to go.

"If that does happen, the team could slip into mediocrity with the new rules for 2026 at the latest."

Red Bull


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