Christian Horner warns of ‘complicated business’ if rival builds team around Adrian Newey

Henry Valantine
Christian Horner with Adrian Newey.

Adrian Newey has a way of working unique in modern Formula 1, which Christian Horner explained.

Christian Horner warned Red Bull’s rivals that signing Adrian Newey would mean a “complicated business” due to the current nature of Formula 1 as it is now.

The budget cap limits the overall spend of a team throughout the course of a season, but the drivers and three highest-paid employees do not factor into that – but Horner explained that Red Bull has already evolved around Newey’s way of working in the 18 years he has been there.

Christian Horner: Teams have to think through ‘very complicated business’ when hiring Adrian Newey

Ferrari are widely reported to be weighing up another move for Newey, having been knocked back on three separate occasions over the decades in their Formula 1 and IndyCar teams, while Aston Martin are also said to be interested in a move – and Williams team boss James Vowles also confirmed he held an initial talk with the outgoing Red Bull figure in Miami.

Newey arrived at Red Bull in 2006 after his departure from McLaren and has been able to form the design team in his own image, sticking to his guns as the only Formula 1 designer to operate with a pencil and paper before others feed his designs into CAD [computer-aided design] software.

Horner said Red Bull have adapted around his way of working, and have prepared for his upcoming departure in early 2025 by others ‘stepping up’ in recent years as his role has changed.

When asked about how a rival might fare if they were able to build a team around Newey in the design department, Horner warned another team might struggle – given the constraints now on the teams and the way the sport’s feted ‘design guru’ works.

“I think Formula 1 is a very complicated business now, particularly with the cost cap, elements that you have to take into consideration,” Horner told media in Miami.

“You have to think very carefully where you commit your funding, where you commit your budgets, what resource, where you’re going to get best bang for buck.

How will Adrian Newey’s Red Bull departure take shape?

👉 Adrian Newey’s next move: Ranking F1 legend’s options for life after Red Bull

👉 Adrian Newey’s gardening leave explained: How F1 legend will spend his final days at Red Bull

“And I think that, obviously, we had a structure that evolved around Adrian over the years that was able to accommodate the way that he works.

“He’s the only designer in Formula 1 that works still on a drawing board. But of course, as the regulations have become tighter and tighter, and Adrian’s role has evolved and developed within the team over the last years, others have had to step up.

“And we’ve had to change how and evolve how we work, which is the same in any organisation. It has to continue to evolve and adapt, and that’s what we found.”

Red Bull currently lead both World Championships again this season, with Max Verstappen well clear at the top of the Drivers’ standings and the Milton Keynes-based team sitting 52 points clear of Ferrari in the Constructors’ table after the Miami Grand Prix.

Read next: Helmut Marko clears up Adrian Newey ‘misunderstanding’ with new next F1 team predicted