Flavio Briatore holds talks with Adrian Newey over shock Alpine move – report

Jamie Woodhouse
Adrian Newey alongside an Alpine logo.

Adrian Newey and the Alpine logo.

Flavio Briatore, reportedly wanted back in the fold by Renault CEO Luca de Meo, is said to have reached out to departing Red Bull design guru Adrian Newey in a bid to lure him to Enstone.

Renault’s F1 team Alpine has endured a frustrating start to the F1 2024 campaign, scoring just two points so far, with the team having undergone sweeping changes to its senior staff ranks over the last year. Briatore reportedly has a major role to play in continuing the rebuild.

Flavio Briatore ‘wants to bring Adrian Newey to Alpine’

Corriere della Sera claim that Briatore has accepted de Meo’s offer of ‘special supervisor’ to return to the team where he oversaw their 2005 and 2006 title doubles, but also the infamous ‘Crashgate’ scandal which triggered his exit.

It is said that Briatore is working on attracting personnel to Alpine who can play a key role in improving their fortunes, with a star name on the target list being Newey, who has designed title-winning cars for Williams, McLaren and Red Bull and will depart the Milton Keynes-based squad after the first quarter of 2025.

It is reported that Briatore has already held talks with Newey in this mission to bring him to Alpine.

A spokesperson for the Alpine team told PlanetF1.com: ”As a team, we are in frequent contact with a number of industry experts in pursuit of improving overall performance.

“We consider all relevant inputs and, when appropriate, seek advice from people with experience and previous success. We cannot comment on any individual matters.”

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Alpine won’t be alone in making a move to secure Newey’s services and the 65-year-old has given hope to potential pursuers by revealing that Red Bull was likely not his final F1 venture.

“I mean, popular question at the moment,” Newey said in an Oyster Yachts interview with Eddie Jordan when asked what his future holds.

“If you’d asked me 15 years ago, at the age of 65, would I seriously be considering changing teams, going somewhere else and doing another four or five years, I’d have said you’re absolutely mad.

“And then I think a few things happened at once. My dad who was a vet, he was a huge car enthusiast, which I guess that’s obviously where things rubbed off on me. Anyway, he wanted to retire when he was 60, and he kind of semi-retired at 62, moved up with my mum to Yorkshire and then did locums until he was 65, and then he was fully retired.

“If I’m honest, it’s slightly emotional to say it, but he kind of lost his way a bit in his retirement. I thought he’d be very happy to continue to tinker around on cars and stuff, and he just lost his mojo a bit.

“A kind of combination of that, and then two of the people that I respect the most, Bernie [Ecclestone] and Roger Penske, I asked them both, “What’s your secret?’ Because they’ve kept going and going and for their age, they’re phenomenally mentally agile and physically agile.

“They both said that old thing that the brain is like a muscle, it needs exercise, and so you need to keep doing that.

“Also, I’ve wanted to work in motor racing as a designer since I was the age of eight or 10, and I’ve been lucky enough to fulfil that ambition, to have got that first job and been in motor racing ever since – and so every day has just been a bonus really.

“I just love what I do. So at some point, I guess I’ll have a bit of a holiday. As Forrest Gump said at the end of his long run, ‘I feel a little bit tired at the moment’, but at some point, I’ll probably go again.”

A total of 25 F1 titles have been claimed in Newey-designed cars, as Max Verstappen and Red Bull look to make that 27 in F1 2024.

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