Adrian Newey’s Red Bull future discussed with contract ‘up for renewal’

Henry Valantine
Adrian Newey wearing sunglasses and a cap.

Red Bull's Adrian Newey wearing sunglasses and a hat.

Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey is reportedly set for his contract being “up for renewal” this year, according to Formula 1 press conference host Tom Clarkson.

Clarkson added that Newey, whose designs have propelled Red Bull to all of the 11 combined Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles in their history, and his future is currently “being discussed within the corridors of power” with the reigning World Champions, as they look to extend his stay with the team.

Newey was signed to head Red Bull’s technical operation from McLaren back in 2005, and has spearheaded the team’s success on a design level, with the move to ground effect aerodynamics in Formula 1’s latest technical regulations moving into a particular area of expertise of his.

Red Bull and Max Verstappen broke the record for most wins in a single season in 2022 in the dominant RB18, and the RB19 has picked up where its predecessor left off in terms of outright speed.

But with Newey having been seen looking around at other cars, 1996 World Champion Damon Hill wonders if that was a sign that he may even see his future beyond Red Bull, and bringing another team forward.

“So those people who are not that familiar with the backroom people in Formula 1 that make things actually happen, Adrian Newey is by a long chalk one of the most successful, if not the most successful, car designer in Formula 1 history,” Hill said on the F1 Nation podcast.

“His success rate is unbelievable, every team he’s been to virtually he’s won a Constructors’ Championship, Drivers’ titles.

“I’ve lost count how many, so he’s a key man, and what he has to offer any team is invaluable. recommends

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“I can’t help ignoring this thing he did in Bahrain, where he stood in front of the Mercedes on the grid, with his clipboard, and stood there for a long time looking at their front wings.

“Anybody who knows Adrian will know ‘wait a minute, he’s already got the most dominant car in F1, why’s he looking at the Mercedes’ front wings?’

“Was he really looking at the front wings? Or was he just standing in front of a Mercedes saying: ‘I’m interested’. Is that what he was really saying?”

On track so far this season, Red Bull have cruised to two victories and scored 87 points out of a possible 88 in the opening rounds, with no signs as yet that their dominance will slow down in Australia this weekend.

But even with the cost cap and aerodynamic testing restrictions in place to try and level out the playing field as much as possible, Hill believes the Milton Keynes-based team are likely to still have more in hand later on.

“In the short term probably not,” Hill said of the prospect of teams catching Red Bull, “but in the long term it’s going to be very interesting to see how these differentials in cost caps can have an effect and in aero time and all the limitations they put.

“So we’re hoping that Red Bull will reach a glass ceiling, and they won’t be able to squeeze any more time out of this car.

“But knowing Red Bull and Adrian Newey and all their clever people they’ve got at Red Bull, they’ve probably got some next magic trick up their sleeve as well.”

Adrian Newey a Formula 1 stalwart, and an interested spectator

If there’s one thing we know about Adrian Newey, it’s that he will not just focus on his own design solutions, he will always be looking around and seeing what else is on the grid.

Following on from Hill’s point on him eyeing up the Mercedes in Bahrain, he was also seen looking at the Aston Martin on the grid in Saudi Arabia as he gets a closer look at his 2023 rivals.

That could simply just be a case of analysing designs from elsewhere and seeing if there is anything that can be placed on the RB19 to make it even faster, and given how much faster it is than the rest of the field, it would take a significant detail to improve upon what is already available to Verstappen and Sergio Perez at the moment.

Newey is approaching almost two decades with Red Bull now, and he will no doubt be taking stock of what he has achieved. In the unlikely event he does decide that the time has come for a new challenge, he won’t exactly be short of offers.