Life after Adrian Newey: Meet the man set to take over Red Bull’s technical programme

Sam Cooper
Adrian Newey, Christian Horner and Pierre Wache

Pierre Wache has been with Red Bull since 2013.

Life after Adrian Newey is fast approaching Red Bull and the man tasked with taking on the mantle is Pierre Wache, but who is the French engineer?

With Newey’s immediate F1 departure to focus on the RB17 hypercar, technical director Wache has stepped up to oversee Red Bull’s technical team but how did he get here?

Who is Red Bull’s new tech chief Pierre Wache?

Wache was born in Auchel in northern France on December 10 1974 and certainly has one of the more unusual routes into F1.

His education included gaining a PhD in fluid mechanics at the Institut National Polytechnique de Lorraine in Nancy and Georgia Tech, Atlanta and he spent a significant time of his studying focusing on biomechanical engineering rather than anything car-related.

But in 2001, he got his first motorsport-related job when he was hired by then-F1 tyre supplier Michelin. He was tasked with studying the interaction between the tarmac cars were driving on and the rubber of the tyres used by the four F1 teams supplied by Michelin.

He progressed up the Michelin ladder until he became project leader but when the French tyre supplier left F1 in 2007, Wache moved over to BMW Sauber as a vehicle performance engineer.

Like he did at Michelin, Wache progressed up the BMW Sauber ladder until he became head of the team’s vehicle performance group and in 2012 he joined their technical committee with a focus on race engineering and vehicle performance.

While he was at Sauber, he got to work with a young driver called Sergio Perez and after a successful 2012 in which the team finished sixth, he was poached by Red Bull to become their chief engineer of the performance team.

Again, he rose up the ranks until he became technical director in 2018 and he has been one of the main forces behind Red Bull’s resurgence since 2021.

He played a big part in the design of the RB16B which guided Max Verstappen to his first Drivers’ title in 2021 but it was in 2022 that everyone on the technical side of Red Bull began to outshine their opponents.

2022’s RB18 won 17 races but it was bested by 2023’s RB19 which came first in all but one grand prix that season. The current car, the RB20, looks on course to equal that record so far this year.

Wache is also a man who has been the target of other teams’ interests on a number of occasions. Like Newey, Wache is known to be on the wishlist of Ferrari and the Italians have made a number of attempts to entice him over to Maranello.

One of the most recent attempts came in August last year as German outlet Auto Motor und Sport claimed Ferrari were in talks with the Frenchman. The signing of compatriot and Mercedes’ performance director Loïc Serra to Ferrari was said to be a big plus point for Wache. recommends

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That advance was rebuffed but Wache has again been recently linked with a swap to Maranello.

In terms of his Red Bull contract, Wache is reported to have at least three more seasons after this one and late last year, Christian Horner detailed how he has taken on more responsibility in the last few years.

“Adrian is a big part of this team and big part of what we’ve achieved,” Horner told Autosport. “But of course, his role has evolved over the last few years and the technical team beneath him led by Pierre Wache, they’re doing a wonderful job and so that they’re not reliant on Adrian.

“He has the ability to come in, come out and work on other projects and I think that’s part of the evolution of any team.”

How true that statement is will now be tested with Wache leading the technical team from now on.

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