Adrian Newey’s Red Bull exclusion: ‘It doesn’t matter about your name’

Oliver Harden
A close-up shot of Adrian Newey with a cracked Red Bull badge alongside him

Will the Red Bull F1 empire come crashing down after Adrian Newey's departure?

Red Bull technical director Pierre Waché has confirmed the team are excluding Adrian Newey from technical meetings, revealing the team “are being very careful” around the outgoing F1 design guru.

Red Bull announced earlier this month that Newey will leave the team in early F1 2025, having masterminded the team’s success with Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen over the last two decades.

Adrian Newey phased out by Red Bull as F1 2025 exit looms

Newey confirmed ahead of this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix that he is likely to seek a fresh start with another team amid rumours that the 65-year-old has already signed a contract to join Ferrari.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner revealed at the recent Miami GP that the process of phasing out Newey has already commenced, with the chief technical officer losing access to data and prevented from participating in technical meetings in Florida.

Waché is seen as Newey’s effective replacement within Red Bull’s technical structure, with Horner making a point of crediting the Frenchman for much of the team’s success over recent years.

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That drew criticism from Newey’s wife Amanda, who took to Twitter in January to describe Horner’s claims that Red Bull are no longer reliant on Newey as “a load of hogwash.”

Speaking to Sky F1 at Imola, Waché stressed the need to limit Newey’s involvement ahead of his impending exit amid concerns that he could take Red Bull’s secrets to his new employers.

And he claimed that Newey’s reputation as the most decorated individual in F1 history should not prevent him from being treated like any other Red Bull exit.

Waché said: “At the moment, currently, as he has the potential to go to a competitor – like every leaver, it doesn’t matter about your name – there is a risk to pick up up some IP [intellectual property] on the current car – and the future car even more.

“We are being very careful. I learned that from him!

“It’s a loss. When you lose somebody as big as him, clearly his experience will be missing but we’ve tried to work without him in some areas for some time already.

“We know that we have good people and the future will tell us how difficult it will be or not, but we are prepared.

“To be honest, he was not at every race last year so it doesn’t change fundamentally for us.”

Asked to pinpoint what Red Bull will lose when Newey leaves, Waché reiterated his view that the team will continue to thrive without him.

He replied: “His experience, mainly, and for sure his head. He’s somebody smart and very sharp, we will lose that aspect.

“But we’ve tried to work without him in the past and we will try to continue. It’s a massive challenge and we will take over this challenge.”

A move to Ferrari would see Newey form an F1 superteam with seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton, who rocked the F1 world in February that he will join the Scuderia on a multi-year deal from F1 2025, and Charles Leclerc, widely regarded as the fastest driver over a single lap.

Asked if he is worried that Newey will join Ferrari, Waché said: “I think it’s very difficult to judge a personal decision to go somewhere. I changed team in the past, he changed team in the past.

“I’m not worried, but I’m worried about Ferrari – and McLaren – anyway!

“He will affect the performance of their car, but I’m concentrating on us at the moment.”

Waché aired his reluctance to be seen as Newey’s replacement within Red Bull, claiming the team’s success does not stem from a single indidual’s impact.

He said: “I’m not here to replace him.

“I’m here to make sure that the team is working together, that we have the right direction technically.

“I don’t want to replace him in the sense of my name. It’s not my purpose.

“I’m not the genius. We have success due to the team.

“Adrian was part of the team, but now he’s leaving the team has to make it happen without him.

“The success is coming from the team and different actors inside the team.

“It’s not coming from one person – and even less due to me.”

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