Helmut Marko warns of extra ‘psychological factor’ from losing Adrian Newey

Thomas Maher
Adrian Newey, Red Bull, 2024 Miami Grand Prix.

Adrian Newey's departure may play a part in Red Bull's appeal to younger engineer, Helmut Marko believes.

Helmut Marko believes losing Adrian Newey may have a psychological effect on young engineers wanting to work at Red Bull.

Red Bull’s chief technical officer is currently serving his gardening leave from the F1 side of the company before he leaves for unknown pastures by the middle of the 2025 season.

Helmut Marko: Adrian Newey’s departure won’t cause Red Bull any drama

While Newey has played a major part in transforming Red Bull from a young and enthusiastic underdog into a success juggernaut over the last two decades, Red Bull have put their other senior technical management on new contracts that will ensure continuity into the new regulation cycle starting in 2026.

Included are senior engineers Ben Waterhouse and Enrico Balbo, as well as technical director Pierre Wache, while sporting director Jonathan Wheatley is expected to sign a new deal to remain with the Milton Keynes-based squad.

The succession plan is already in place for when Newey departs, with the 65-year-old himself helping to ensuring minimal disruption once his own presence has left the company.

It’s for this reason that Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko is confident that the team won’t suffer from an immediate dip in competitiveness when the legendary designer walks out the door for the final time.

Speaking to Formula1.de’s YouTube channel, as quoted by sister publication Motorsport-Total, Marko branded Newey “a legend” and said he has “contributed a great deal to our success”.

“In the meantime, the technical team has also been very broadly based,” he said.

“We have young talents like Ben Waterhouse and established ones like Pierre Wache. And I believe that this will not bring any drama for Red Bull Racing, no drop in technical performance and brilliance.”

But where Newey’s departure might be felt most is in how attractive Red Bull is for engineers hoping to work alongside him by way of employment with the team.

“It’s also a psychological factor,” Marko said.

“There have been many young engineers who have probably only come to us because working under Newey had its appeal, and he is the most successful designer.”

Aside from his professional qualities, Marko said he will miss having Newey around as a personable and likeable colleague.

“[He is] a very pleasant, slightly philosophical personality,” he said, “who somehow stood out from the rest of this very modern Formula 1 entourage”.

More on the latest Red Bull F1 news

👉 Red Bull reveal ‘first option’ for F1 2025 seat and set deadline for decision

👉 Sergio Perez reveals Red Bull contract talks underway amid term rumours

With Red Bull already having lost more races in 2024 over the first seven Grands Prix than it did in the entirety of 2023, convergence has seen several teams step forward to challenge the RB20 – including McLaren and Ferrari.

With a relentless development cycle from all the leading teams, Marko said it’s obvious that it’s easier for Red Bull to be tripped up with the competition the closest its been in the ground effect era.

“We lost two races, or didn’t win,” he said.

“One was Melbourne, the other was Miami. Both street circuits. And yes, we had our problems on these tracks and were no longer the strongest team from our point of view.

“Is this only due to these two street circuits? That will become clear as the season progresses.

“The longer and more stable the regulations, the more the top teams make up for this gap, if they have one.”

With Red Bull closer to the theoretical performance ceiling of the current regulations, it allows for greater returns on development for the other teams – resulting in closer competition as F1 closes in on the final 18 months before a rules revolution.

Marko also believes the gap is closing due to a natural turnover of staff “because people get a better position, either because they earn more or are looking for a new challenge.

“And of course, know-how goes with every employee, because what you have in your head is what you have in your head. No contracts can restrict or prevent that.”

Read Next: Daniel Ricciardo exclusive: I’m absolutely ready to return to Red Bull