Some at Red Bull ‘quite pleased’ to see back of ‘capricious’ Adrian Newey, claims F1 pundit

Jamie Woodhouse
Adrian Newey with his notebook on the grid.

Adrian Newey with notebook in-hand.

According to Sky F1’s Craig Slater, Adrian Newey felt “underappreciated” at Red Bull while some of his colleagues are relishing the chance to thrive in his absence, free of his “capricious working methods”.

The shock announcement was made on Wednesday that Newey will leave Red Bull “after the first quarter of 2025”, though his involvement with the Formula 1 team is over already, bringing an end to an association which has seen Red Bull rise to record-breaking dominance of the sport.

Did tension in Red Bull design team contribute to Adrian Newey exit?

Newey was hailed as the mastermind behind Red Bull’s acing of Formula 1’s ground effect era, though according to Sky F1 presenter Simon Lazenby, that led to some of Newey’s colleagues taking umbrage over the amount of credit he received after working 150 days a year – though that is understood to have been his contracted working arrangement with Red Bull.

“Some of those we understand in the technical department have been disgruntled about the amount of credit that he gets,” Lazenby added.

Slater would confirm these murmurs of discontent, adding that Newey feeling “underappreciated” for his work, plus a “falling out” with team principal Christian Horner, are all factors at play in Newey’s decision to leave Red Bull.

“I think there is a longer game and a shorter set of events which have led to new Newey’s departure,” Slater began.

“I think in the longer term, you could flip it on its head and say Christian Horner did very well to keep Adrian Newey happy for 18 years, produced all these sidebar projects and so on.

“He signed a new contract last May and it’s been explained to me that he had to be persuaded to do that. He was thinking about leaving that time as well.

“But I do think recent events have been a factor. There has been a falling out, I think we have to call it that, between himself and Christian Horner. There’s been a distance between those two men over the last year.

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“And then as well, this civil war at Red Bull, the friction between the majority Thai ownership and the 49 per cent Austrian owners, Mark Mateschitz, son of Dietrich Mateschitz. That has created an unhappy workspace for Newey, who has felt underappreciated for the job he’s done.

“There are some in the design office who are quite pleased that he is moving on. They found his working methods capricious and now they have the chance to prove that it isn’t all about Adrian Newey.

“But there is a deeper history to this, and we shouldn’t all put the reasons for the departure down to the controversy surrounding Christian Horner at the moment.”

As for on-track business, Red Bull will look to score a fifth win of the F1 2024 campaign this weekend in Miami, a venue where their three-time World Champion and Drivers’ Championship leader Max Verstappen is yet to be beaten.

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