James Allison answers big Adrian Newey question as F1 genius ponders next career move

Jamie Woodhouse
Adrian Newey on the Formula 1 grid in his Red Bull gear, next to a Mercedes badge.

Adrian Newey and a Mercedes badge.

Could technical director James Allison co-exist with F1 design guru Adrian Newey at Mercedes? He sees no reason why not.

The key talking point going into this month’s Miami Grand Prix was the bombshell announcement that Newey’s time with the Red Bull Formula 1 team was over, while he will depart the Milton Keynes-based outfit entirely after the first quarter of 2025.

James Allison not a blockage for Adrian Newey at Mercedes

A total of 25 titles have been claimed in Newey-designed F1 cars, that potentially set to increase to 27 by the end of F1 2024, so he is expected to be in demand with rival teams once his Red Bull ties are fully severed and he is on the market.

Another figure regarded as an F1 design great is Mercedes technical director Allison, who has played his part in 21 title triumphs across his F1 career.

And if Mercedes did attempt to unite these two powerhouses under one roof, then Allison does not foresee clashes, as long as roles were clearly defined.

Asked by Sky Sports F1 if he could work alongside Newey at Mercedes, Allison replied: “That is quite a hypothetical question, but I see no reason why not.

“You’d have to be reasonably clear about who was doing what, but I think that any team that’s looking at Adrian on the market as a person who is pretty effective would be asking the same question of how you bring a guy like that in and make the most of him.”

Will Adrian Newey join an F1 rival after Red Bull exit?

👉 Adrian Newey’s next move: Ranking F1 legend’s options for life after Red Bull

👉 Explained: How Eddie Jordan became Adrian Newey’s manager after shock reveal

In the immediate aftermath of his Red Bull exit announcement, Newey was making it clear that he has “no plans” regarding an F1 return at this stage, though would later suggest that his career in the sport is likely not over.

“I mean, popular question at the moment,” Newey said in an interview with Eddie Jordan with Oyster Yachts 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.”

Newey has designed title-winning cars for Williams, McLaren and Red Bull so far in his Formula 1 career.

Read next: Sergio Perez gives update on Red Bull future after new contract rumours surface