Adrian Newey leaves door open for F1 return as verdict cast on criticised 2026 regulations

Michelle Foster
A close-up shot of Adrian Newey with prominent Aston Martin and Ferrari logos alongside him

Adrian Newey is rumoured to have received offers from Aston Martin and Ferrari as he considers his Red Bull future

Adrian Newey does “not know” if he’ll be involved in F1 when the new car specs are introduced 2026, but he’s warned teams it would be “premature” to lambast them today.

Formula 1 is set to overhaul the regulations in 2026, not only for the cars but also the engine specifications.

Will Adrian Newey be involved in F1’s ‘slightly strange’ 2026 rules?

The biggest change is the sport’s move to a 50/50 split between the internal combustion engine and electrical output, meaning an increased focus on energy recovery.

The MGU-K [Kinetic Motor Generator Unit] will almost triple the amount of electrical power produced by the current hybrid components.

As for the rest, Formula 1 has yet to lock down the car regulations with the likes of Christian Horner fearing “Frankenstein” cars to comply with the battery requirements.

Newey, though, isn’t as negative as the Red Bull team boss, after all, designers are told the rules and it’s up to them to come up with the best solution.

But whether he’ll be a part of that solution, if it is with Ferrari as has been widely speculated or Aston Martin as Helmut Marko predicted, he isn’t saying.

What’s next for Red Bull and Adrian Newey…

👉Life after Adrian Newey: Meet the man set to take over Red Bull’s technical programme

👉Red Bull RB17: The £5million hypercar that now has Adrian Newey’s full focus

“I must admit that when the ’22 regulations were announced back in 2020 my first reaction to them was that they were quite restrictive,” he told Sky Sports.

“And that’s always a shame because the more regulation restrictions we have, the more that stifles creativity and other solutions.

“But as it turned out, there’s actually quite a lot of flexibility and I think we saw that it started at ’22 that there are lots of different shapes out there, they’re starting to converge now but initially they were.

“Going through the ’26 regulations, at the moment they look kind of a slightly strange set of regulations.

“But to then write them off and say therefore they won’t be good, I think is way too premature.

“You know, there comes a point always where as a designer you first look at what they might be and you might have an opinion of are they good or are they bad.

“I’m sure ’26 will be another big challenge.

“Whether I’m part of that or not. I really don’t know. But for those involved, it will be a big challenge.”

But not being a part of that, or best to say definitely not being a part when it comes to Red Bull, will be a major blow for the Milton Keynes squad.

That’s according to Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko.

“This is of course a big loss for Red Bull Racing,” Marko told Kronen Zeitung.

“He wasn’t always in the day-to-day business, didn’t take care of every detail or every screw, but he was the one who had the complex knowledge of aerodynamics and mechanical grip of the entire car under control.”

“Of course in 2026 there will be new regulations,” he added. “Whenever such regulations came in the past, it was usually Adrian who was the first to understand it optimally.”

Read next: Christian Horner sets record straight on Adrian Newey relationship after ‘falling out’ claim