Senior Red Bull staff ‘very close’ to following Adrian Newey through exit door, F1 insider claims

Jamie Woodhouse
A close-up shot of Adrian Newey with a cracked Red Bull logo alongside him

Red Bull confirmed the departure of Adrian Newey

Former McLaren mechanic Marc Priestley said he “happens to know” that various Red Bull figures are giving serious thought to leaving the team in the wake of Adrian Newey’s shock exit.

While Newey will officially leave Red Bull after the first quarter of 2025, his involvement with the Formula 1 team is over, with Red Bull potentially now facing the threat of more personnel joining the legendary F1 designer in heading for the exit.

‘Not about championships anymore’ for alleged Red Bull wantaways

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown has already weighed in on the situation, predicting Newey to be the “first domino to fall”, with Priestley now talking along similar lines from his information, as Red Bull attempt to keep their key players around in the aftermath of the off-track saga which hit the team earlier this year.

Red Bull’s long-term sporting director Jonathan Wheatley has been the subject of exit speculation since the Newey bombshell and PlanetF1.com understands that he is in the process of negotiating a renewal with Red Bull, though has held off on re-signing in hope of landing a more senior role elsewhere on the F1 grid.

Other senior staff such as aero chief Enrico Balbo, head of performance engineering Ben Waterhouse and technical director Pierre Waché have all signed new deals in recent months, though according to Priestley, “a number of people” at Red Bull are actively exploring options to leave the team.

“There are a number of people at the team that I happen to know are talking and thinking about leaving, that are very unhappy,” said Priestley in a video for his YouTube page.

“Adrian is the first of those really high-profile cards to topple, but there are now others who are very close to doing the same thing.

“Jonathan Wheatley, the sporting director, someone who has been there for a long, long time, also now [is] potentially looking for a way out and I happen to know that he is not the only one considering, seriously, an exit from the team.

“It’s not really about winning races and winning championships anymore. Yes, the championship is almost certainly going to go Red Bull’s way this year. They will win more races. And next year, they’ll be in a great position to do more of that.

“But for most of those people, they’ve now got so many of those accolades, so many ticks on the sheet of how many wins you get, how many points have you scored? How many pole positions? All of these things have been done.

“If you’re not happy in your work environment, and if that is genuinely the case at Red Bull, it will be no surprise to see more people, particularly at the higher end, start to think and consider other options that are on the grid.”

More on shock Adrian Newey Red Bull exit decision

👉 ‘Doesn’t make sense’ – Ted Kravitz questions Zak Brown’s prediction over more big-name Red Bull departures

👉 ‘He won’t work anywhere to help Lewis Hamilton’ – Ferrari ruled out for Adrian Newey by leading pundit

Newey has made it clear that he has “no plans” for an F1 return at this stage, though is not ruling it out, as Formula 1 prepares to introduce new chassis and power unit regulations from 2026.

And while saying this as a gut feeling rather than from any information he received, Priestley believes Newey will end up at Ferrari.

“I firmly believe that we will see him back in Formula 1,” said Priestley in reference to Newey.

“With a big regulation set change on the horizon, that’s too tempting, surely, for Adrian Newey to miss?

“And I actually think this could end up going the way of Ferrari. Adrian Newey has always been hesitant about joining Ferrari and one of his reasons for that was always that he didn’t want to go to work and live in Italy.

“Ferrari has been a difficult place to work at times in the past, but things are changing there. Like McLaren are building something and changing the organisational structure, building towards success, Ferrari are doing exactly the same thing.

“They’re in a great place. Fred Vasseur is the perfect guy to lead that team and things are changing for the better.

“With Lewis Hamilton coming along, there’s a boost for the entire team. And if Adrian Newey were to join that partnership, well who knows what they could achieve when there’s a huge regulation change just coming over the horizon for ’26.”

Newey-designed F1 cars have won a remarkable 25 titles over his illustrious career, with two more likely on the way in 2024.

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