Adrian Newey spotted on Ferrari land amid fresh Red Bull exit offer rumours

Oliver Harden
Adrian Newey on the phone with prominent Aston Martin and Ferrari logos alongside him

Adrian Newey is rumoured to have received offers from Aston Martin and Ferrari

Adrian Newey was recently spotted at Bologna airport amid rumours that the Red Bull F1 design guru has received an offer to join Ferrari.

The current uncertainty surrounding Red Bull has led to suggestions that Newey, the most successful designer in F1 history, could seek a move away from the reigning Constructors’ Champions.

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Reports last month claimed Newey received a lucrative offer from Lawrence Stroll to join Aston Martin over the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend.

Mike Krack, the Aston Martin team principal, denied at the recent Japanese GP that the Silverstone-based outfit had approached Newey, insisting the team are “quite happy” with their current technical line-up.

With the situation at Red Bull bubbling away in the background despite three victories from the opening four races of the F1 2024 season, however, their rivals have “tasted blood” since the first sign of tension behind the scenes at F1’s leading team.

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That’s according to German publication Auto Motor und Sport, who point to rumours that Newey has also received an offer from Ferrari and was recently spotted at Bologna airport, with the rumours of a switch to the Scuderia “clearly serious this time.”

Newey, who turned 65 last December, is said to “hate nothing more than internal politics” inside a team, with the apparent power struggle between team principal Christian Horner and long-serving adviser Helmut Marko putting Red Bull’s rivals on high alert.

The report describes a state of “two worlds” at Red Bull, with the team’s on-track success masking a “tug of war over the reorginisation of the company behind the scenes” following the death of Dietrich Mateschitz in October 2022.

While Horner “sees himself as the new general” and, with the support of Red Bull’s Thai majority owners, is keen to “marginalise” the Austrian elements of the company “as much as possible”, Newey and lead driver Max Verstappen are among “quite a few in the team worried that the revolt could shake the empire.”

Verstappen, who has been heavily linked with a move to Mercedes in recent weeks, has repeatedly made it clear that his own future is inextricably linked to that of Marko, with the possible departure of Newey seen as big a blow to Red Bull.

While Ferrari and Aston Martin are rumoured to have made their interest clear, the report claims Mercedes are yet to join the race to sign Newey through concern that the arrival of a designer of his stature “could cause too much internal unrest.”

Aston Martin’s status as a UK-based team could potentially give Stroll an edge in the pursuit of Newey’s signature, yet the 65-year-old could regard a switch to Ferrari as a “crowning achievement” after designing title-winning cars for Red Bull, McLaren and Williams over the course of his illustrious career.

Any team would have to wait until the expiry of his contract at the end of 2025 to land Newey, who is currently leading the development of Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar, which is due to arrive in September 2025.

Newey has been frequently linked with a move to Ferrari over the years, most heavily in 2014, shortly after Red Bull’s dominance with Sebastian Vettel was ended by the introduction of F1’s V6 hybrid rules.

Writing in his 2017 autobiography, Newey pointed to the culture with the Red Bull team – who were crowned World Champions for the first time in 2010, just five years after arriving on the grid – in an explanation of his decision to stay put.

He said: “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.”

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