Martin Brundle: Adrian Newey the most important F1 figure over any driver

Oliver Harden
Adrian Newey is flanked by Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez during Red Bull's post-race celebrations at the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix

Adrian Newey is flanked by Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez during Red Bull's post-race celebrations at the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix

Former F1 driver Martin Brundle has claimed the signing of Adrian Newey is more crucial to a team’s hopes than any driver as speculation over the Red Bull design guru’s next move persists.

Red Bull announced earlier this month that Newey will leave the team in early F1 2025 having been a central figure behind the Milton Keynes-based outfit’s success with Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen.

Martin Brundle picks Adrian Newey over Max Verstappen for fantasy F1 team

Newey stands as the most decorated individual in F1 history, having played a part in more than 200 race victories as well as 13 Drivers’ and 12 Constructors’ World Championships.

The news of his departure from Red Bull comes amid rumours that Newey has received contract offers from Ferrari and Aston Martin over recent months.

A move to Ferrari would see Newey form an F1 superteam with seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton, who announced in February that he will join the Scuderia on a multi-year contract from next season, and Charles Leclerc, widely regarded as the fastest driver on the current grid over one lap.

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Appearing on F1’s Beyond The Grid podcast, Brundle argued that Verstappen and Newey are the two names he would sign if he were to set up a fantasy F1 team – and he claimed the latter would be the most vital appointment.

Asked whether Newey or the driver is the most important factor in an F1 team, he replied: “Adrian Newey.

“[I’d sign him first] because then I could get the drivers I want.

“There’s two people I’d have to have if I was bringing in Brundle GP and that’d be Max Verstappen and Adrian Newey.

“Red Bull have got them both, but they’ve just lost one.

“Will they lose the other one?”

Brundle’s latest comments come he claimed just four of the current 10 teams stands a realistic chance of signing Newey following his departure from Red Bull.

He said: “You’ve got to have a lot of money and a lot of resource or there’s no point having Adrian Newey.

“If you sit him in an office, but you don’t have the goods around him and the funds to use his ideas, then there’s no point.

“All the teams are like, ‘No, no, we’re really happy as we are thank you very much’ – A) because they might not get him and B) because they don’t want to upset the team they’ve already got in place.

“But clearly Mercedes, Aston Martin, McLaren, Ferrari will be looking and trying to get [Newey] somehow.

“It’s a double-edged sword. If you can get Adrian’s experience and skills, then you’ve got him and somebody else doesn’t have him, so they’ll all be trying like crazy.

“If they’re not, they should be.”

Brundle went on to outline his confidence that Newey, 65, will return to F1 duty, claiming the F1 2026 rule changes “have got Adrian written all over them.”

Asked if Newey will continue in F1, he said: “I think he will. I think he’s a competitive animal.

“He’s a friend of mine and a man of great principle, but I think he’ll get a little bit bored, [especially] when you think Rory Byrne still has a contract with Ferrari at 80 years old, based in Thailand or somewhere.

“The 2026 regulations have got Adrian written all over them in terms of acing the complex active aerodynamics.

“But that’s not to downplay all the other people, Pierre Waché [Red Bull technical director], a lot of very clever people around.

“There’s a lot of people around and it’s wrong to say one person can make the difference, but I’ll guarantee that along the way Adrian just tipped a couple of things in and came up with some ideas that made the difference. Just the experience and the nous and the feel for what you need.

“I would be surprised if, down the road, he doesn’t have some kind of affiliation with a Formula 1 team.

“I’d be amazed, in fact.”

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