What changed? Adrian Newey’s love of Red Bull F1 ‘principles’ revealed in resurfaced comments

Oliver Harden
Christian Horner waves his middle finger as Adrian Newey laughs in the background

Christian Horner and Adrian Newey established a productive partnership at Red Bull

Adrian Newey’s affection for Red Bull’s “principles” has been uncovered in resurfaced comments after the F1 design genius announced on Wednesday that he will leave the team.

After a week of speculation over Newey’s future, Red Bull have confirmed that the 65-year-old will leave the team in early 2025.

Resurfaced comments reveal Adrian Newey’s affection for Red Bull

Newey has been a central figure behind Red Bull’s success since his arrival from McLaren in 2006, designing title-winning cars for the likes of Sebastian Vettel and reigning three-time World Champion Max Verstappen.

The news of Newey’s departure comes amid rumours that he has received contract offers from both Aston Martin and Ferrari, with Italian publication La Gazzetta dello Sport claiming Ferrari could announce Newey’s arrival after this weekend’s Miami Grand Prix.

Newey has been frequently linked with a move to Ferrari over the course of his illustrious career, coming closest to joining the Scuderia in 2014 when the introduction of F1’s V6 hybrid era signalled the end of Red Bull’s initial period of dominance with Vettel.

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The designer ultimately opted to stay put, reducing his role at Red Bull who allowed him to engage in non-F1 activities.

In a passage from How to Build a Car, his 2017 autobiography, Newey explained his reasoning for turning down Ferrari.

He wrote that the innovative culture within Red Bull, including the team’s willingness to hand opportunities to young drivers rather than signing established superstars –  represented “the true spirit of motor racing.”

And he pointed to the 2012 season – when Vettel pipped Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso to secure a third consecutive World Championship, despite a slow start to the year in which he won just one of the opening 13 races – as an example of Red Bull’s irresistible work ethic.

He wrote: “We’d gone from being the paddock joke, the upstart, the party-hard fizzy drinks company, to four-time World Champions.

“And we’d done it the old-fashioned way, using principles that to me were in keeping with the true spirit of motor racing.

“I thought back to the beginning of the 2012 season when we couldn’t get the car right and I remembered with pride that our shoulders hadn’t dropped.

“We’d got our heads down, worked through it and solved the problem.

“I thought how we’d developed young drivers instead of buying up star names; how we’d helped put Milton Keynes on the map.

“How throughout it all we’ve never stopped working; how we’d always taken the road less travelled, even when it meant facing seemingly insurmountable problems or technical challenges.

“How we never took the simple option in search of an easy life or sat back on our laurels feeling pleased with ourselves and decided ‘that’ll do.’

“We’d always continued innovating.”

The news of his Red Bull departure has come despite Newey claiming in December 2023 that leaving the team at this stage of his career would be like “walking out on your family.”

Appearing on the Formula For Success podcast alongside former Red Bull driver David Coulthard and team owner Eddie Jordan – who, as Newey’s manager, played a key role in negotiating his departure – Newey revealed he had “come close” to joining Ferrari on three separate occasions in total.

He said: “Ferrari is this magic brand that, in all honesty, probably everybody in motor racing is always fascinated by and tempted to join if they’re offered the opportunity.

“I’ve been approached – and come close – three times now. One of those was in IndyCars way back.

“It’s an amazing brand. It has all this mystique about it. It’s effectively the Italian national team, with all the pros and cons that come with that.

“The cons are that if you don’t do a great job, you are absolutely berated and torn apart. Of course, if you do a good job, then you’re a national hero. So that brings all its own pressures.

“But I have to try to take the passion side out of it and approach it from an engineering side.

“The teams I’ve worked for, I’ve hugely enjoyed and of course Red Bull because that’s a team I’ve been at, more or less, from the start.

“It’s a team that I’ve been very centrally involved in developing the engineering side of the team, so it’s a team I kind of feel comfortable with. We all know how we work.

“I suppose to change now – I’m not saying I would never, ever change because you should never say that – but it would be like walking out on your family, because that’s what it’s become.”

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