Aston Martin suffer huge blow in big-money pursuit of Adrian Newey – report

Oliver Harden
Adrian Newey on the phone with insets of Lawrence Stroll and the Aston Martin logo

Could Adrian Newey be the magic bullet to turn Aston Martin into title contenders?

Aston Martin have suffered a major blow in their efforts to sign Adrian Newey from Red Bull, it has been claimed, with the F1 design legend reportedly wary of team owner Lawrence Stroll.

After days of speculation over his future, Red Bull confirmed on Wednesday that Newey will leave the team early next year.

Aston Martin fall behind in race to sign Adrian Newey from Red Bull?

Newey, the most decorated individual in the history of F1 with more than 200 race wins, 13 Drivers’ and 12 Constructors’ titles to his name, has been a central figure behind Red Bull’s success, designing title-winning cars for the likes of Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen.

The news of his departure is likely to intensify the race to sign Newey, with rumours over recent weeks suggesting that both Aston Martin and Ferrari have made offers to sign the 65-year-old.

Reports last month claimed Aston Martin owner Stroll made a lucrative offer to Newey during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend in Jeddah in March, aiming to capitalise on the instability inside Red Bull.

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Newey previously worked closely with Aston Martin when the British brand sponsored Red Bull between 2016 and 2020, leading the development of the Valkyrie road car.

Aston Martin also lured Dan Fallows – a close colleague of Newey’s at Red Bull over many years – to become the team’s technical director from 2022, before announcing last May that Red Bull’s existing technical partners Honda will become the team’s engine suppliers for F1’s next rules reset in 2026.

And Newey has previously spoken of his “regret” over never having the chance to work with Fernando Alonso, who recently signed a contract extension with Aston Martin until at least the end of 2026, telling the BBC last year that he has “tremendous respect” for the two-time World Champion.

However, the team’s hopes of landing Newey have been dealt a blow after it emerged that the outgoing Red Bull man holds significant reservations over Stroll himself.

According to a report by Motorsport.com, Newey is “not considering” Aston Martin’s lucrative offer with his attitude towards Stroll described as “rather reserved.”

Newey is also said to be concerned that Stroll could use his signing to drive up the value of Aston Martin with the ultimate aim of selling the team for a profit.

A report by Bloomberg last week claimed Stroll is in “early talks” to sell a minority stake of up to 25 per cent in the Aston Martin team as he seeks to capitalise on F1’s current boom in popularity.

Aston Martin welcomed most recently new investors last November, when US private equity firm Arctos Partners acquired a minority shareholding.

Since the rumours first emerged that Aston Martin were interested in Newey, concerns have been raised over whether his personality would be compatible with the notoriously demanding Stroll.

Newey famously grew tired of Ron Dennis’s picky management style at McLaren prior to his move to Red Bull in 2006, describing Dennis as “overly controlling” in 2017.

The claim that Newey is not considering Stroll’s offer comes after F1 analyst Peter Windsor, who worked with the designer at Williams in the early 1990s, revealed last week that Newey had already declined Aston Martin’s proposal, warning that financial considerations are unlikely to influence his next move.

Speaking via his YouTube channel after the rumours of Newey’s departure initially surfaced, Windsor said: “My understanding is that already he has been offered a lot of money by Aramco [Aston Martin title sponsors] and Aston and he’s turned it down.

“That’s my understanding of what the Aston situation is. And it doesn’t surprise me because I don’t think he needs the money. I don’t think money is a motivation for Adrian.

“I think it’s racing and it’s whether he enjoys it and whether it’s going to fit in with what he wants to do other things in life.

“You throw a billion pounds at him now and it’s not going to make a lot of difference.

“I think it might have 10 years ago, even maybe eight years ago. But now? I don’t think so.

“I think he’s past that point and he can basically do whatever he wants, however he wants to do it.

“My understanding is that he’s already rejected that, so I’d be surprised if he goes to Aston. Of course, it’s still a possibility.”

With Aston Martin seemingly falling behind in the race to sign Newey, Ferrari are now widely believed to be the clear favourites to secure his signature.

Newey has previously come close to joining the Scuderia on several occasions over the course of his illustrious career, most famously in 2014 when the introduction of F1’s V6 hybrid era signalled the end of Red Bull’s initial period of dominance with Sebastian Vettel.

He ultimately elected to stay with Red Bull in a reduced role, allowing him the freedom to work on non-F1 projects including the Aston Martin Valkyrie.

A report by Italian publication La Gazzetta dello Sport claimed on Wednesday that Newey has recently met with Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur with an announcement possible in the aftermath of this weekend’s Miami Grand Prix.

An agreement to join the Scuderia would see Newey form an F1 superteam at Maranello with seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton, who announced on February 1 – exactly three months before Red Bull’s confirmation of Newey’s departure – that he will join Ferrari on a multi-year contract from F1 2025.

The terms of Newey’s Red Bull exit are thought to allow him to start work with another team immediately upon his departure early next year, with the 65-year-old – along with his manager, the former F1 team owner Eddie Jordan – pulling off a significant coup by allowing him to escape a contract that had been scheduled to run until the end of 2025.

Newey made a point of thanking “his close friend and manager” in the Red Bull statement confirming his departure on Wednesday.

Appearing on the Formula For Success podcast after the news was made official, Jordan hinted that retirement currently remains the most “likely” next step for Newey, who last November commissioned a yacht with the intention of sailing around the world.

Jordan said: “Remember that he’s been in Red Bull under constant pressure.

“So if he’s going to take time out and just cruise for a while, then everyone would understand that and I think that’s probably more likely to [happen] rather than diving into any other possible employment career [options].

“Things have slightly changed, he’s got a bit older.

“[Red Bull] is a great team, he’s had great drivers, he’s got great personnel there – he probably should and would look to the future for a change of life.”

Newey’s announcement was made on Wednesday with Red Bull sitting top of both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships, with reigning three-time World Champion Verstappen the winner of 48 of the last 71 races stretching back to his maiden title-winning season in 2021.

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