Christian Horner’s Red Bull technical team admission as Adrian Newey rumours swirl

Thomas Maher
Adrian Newey and Christian Horner at the 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix.

Christian Horner has spoken about the stability of Red Bull's technical organisation.

Christian Horner has said “nothing stands still” at Red Bull, as rumours circulate about Adrian Newey’s future.

Adrian Newey has been a key figurehead of Red Bull’s technical success over the past 17 years, contributing to the designs of all their title-winning machines.

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In his role as technical director and current chief technical officer, Newey’s work at Red Bull has yielded plenty of success – his designs won four successive Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships with Sebastian Vettel between 2010 and ’13, as well as delivering the driver’s title for Max Verstappen in 2021 before winning both titles in the years since.

The 2023 Red Bull RB19 became the sport’s most dominant car ever as it was only beaten to one race win over the course of 22 Grands Prix, while the RB20 is off to a great start with four wins from five races this year.

But rumours have emerged that Newey may be set to depart Red Bull before the end of his current contract. The British engineer is under contract until the end of 2025, having signed a new three-year deal at Milton Keynes last season.

Several prominent publications, including the BBC, claim they have learned Newey is set to leave Red Bull – the official position from the team is that “Adrian is contracted until at least the end of 2025 and we are unaware of him joining any other team.”

But the specific wording doesn’t rule out the possibility of Newey retiring from F1 duties in order to concentrate on his RB17 passion project, which begins production next season, or taking a complete sabbatical from F1 before evaluating a return with a competitor following a lengthy gardening leave period.

PlanetF1.com understands that, without going into legal battle, Newey could not work for a rival F1 team until, at the earliest, 2027, if he is indeed tempted to leave Milton Keynes.

But, with Newey’s remit being one of overseeing the technical departments of Red Bull, led by technical director Pierre Wache, head of aerodynamics Enrico Balbo, and chief engineers Paul Monaghan and Ben Waterhouse, Horner has spoken of the strong continuity that has been built up within Red Bull.

Speaking after the Chinese Grand Prix, in which Red Bull secured a 1-3 finish with Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, Horner said the Red Bull squad doesn’t have any reason to fear turmoil within its technical ranks.

“We’ve always had evolution in our team, nothing stays still,” he said.

“Nothing stays still forever, but we’ve had tremendous continuity.

“Paul Monaghan collected the trophy [in China] and has been with us for 19 years.

“We’ve always enjoyed great stability but, at the same time, have continued to develop great talent within the team.

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“If you think of engineers like Rocky (Guillaume Rocquelin), who won all those championships with Sebastian [Vettel] – he still works with the team.

“He’s on a different project but he’s still within our company. Simon Rennie still works for the team.

“There are many, many engineers and designers. We have always had tremendous stability but, of course, it’s not just about one or two individuals, it’s about the collective.”

Newey is set to attend the Miami Grand Prix with Red Bull, having reportedly had several highly lucrative contract offers extended to him by rival teams recently, including Aston Martin and Ferrari.

Speaking at the Japanese Grand Prix, Horner admitted that it was inevitable that, given his success, other teams were always likely to come sniffing around for Newey.

“Adrian is an important part and long-term part of our team,” Horner said in Japan.

“He’s enmeshed within the team. There’s always going to be interest in him, for sure.”

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