Aston Martin conspiracy theory involving Fernando Alonso emerges in Adrian Newey pursuit

Henry Valantine
Fernando Alonso and Adrian Newey.

Adrian Newey has spoken of his desire to work with Fernando Alonso in the past, but it has not happened yet.

Formula 1 journalist and press conference host Tom Clarkson shared his “conspiracy theory” regarding the timing of Fernando Alonso’s contract announcement with the team, as they reportedly pursued Adrian Newey.

Aston Martin were widely reported to have tabled an offer to Newey at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in March, which team principal Mike Krack denied having happened, though with Newey having now confirmed to have left Red Bull, he is unlikely to be short of suitors if he wishes to continue in Formula 1.

Aston Martin conspiracy theory shared in rumoured Adrian Newey pursuit

Newey will be leaving Red Bull in the first quarter of 2025 after his work on the RB17 hypercar project is complete, having now stepped back from Formula 1 design duties after the team’s announcement on Wednesday.

With Aston Martin and Ferrari both linked with possible moves for the most successful designer the sport has ever had, journalist Clarkson wondered if the Silverstone-based team looked to secure Alonso’s services as quickly as possible as a possible negotiating tactic in their rumoured pursuit of Red Bull’s design guru.

“This next contract is probably going to be his last one, a bit like Alonso’s at Aston Martin,” Clarkson said of Newey on the F1 Nation podcast.

“Okay, Ferrari is one option and it will be a fantastic option. But what about Aston Martin working with Alonso?

“You know, there’s been a lot of chat in the paddock that Lawrence Stroll has already made a mega bucks offer for him, and it would see him reunited with Dan Fallows who he worked with, of course, at Red Bull for many years.

“It would see him stay in England, if that is still a factor for him. Do we think it’s likely?

“And let’s not forget the facilities now at the campus at Silverstone at Aston Martin are second to none, so he’d have everything that he needed to continue dominating the sport.”

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Co-host and Sky F1 presenter Natalie Pinkham replied: “And then he gets, as you say, to work with Fernando as well, which we know it’s him and Lewis the two that he wants to work with.

“I actually think it’d be a really good fit. I did directly ask Mike Krack the question, has an offer been made to Adrian Newey? He said no, but he also laughed at the same time.

“So I don’t know, he hasn’t got a very good poker face!”

At which point, Clarkson responded further: “I’ve got a conspiracy theory on this.

“You know, the Alonso announcement after Suzuka was very sudden and he said, ‘Well, we sat and I decided after Suzuka.’ He drove a great race, as he seems to every race at the minute, but he drove a great race in Japan and he came back to Europe and said ‘Right, I want to continue and Aston Martin are my only choice’, and there was a massive rush to get the announcement out.

“I remember that Thursday, we were given two hours’ notice on [an invitation to] join Fernando Alonso on a Zoom call this evening to discuss his new contract.

“And I found myself thinking, why the hurry? Why this massive need to get the news out there as quickly as possible?

“And I just wonder whether they’d got wind of some discontent at Red Bull between Adrian and the team and they just thought, ‘Right, we’ve got to go, we’ve got to swoop, we’ve already made Adrian this amazing deal. Let’s get the news that the star driver is staying out there as quickly as possible and try and twist his arm a bit and give him even more incentive to get out there.’

“Every day counts at this stage of the negotiation.”

Pinkham added: “I think that Lawrence [Stroll] is so ambitious and so tenacious in his pursuit of excellence, that he won’t settle for anything but Adrian Newey within the team.

“He will do whatever it takes, you know, the facility, re-signing Fernando, he’s just relentless in his pursuit of excellence – and there is no-one better than Adrian Newey.”

Read next: Christian Horner’s first reaction as ‘true legend’ Adrian Newey announces split from Red Bull