Martin Brundle tells Red Bull how they can ‘survive’ shock Adrian Newey departure

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

Red Bull confirmed the departure of Adrian Newey

Following confirmation of Adrian Newey’s departure, Martin Brundle believes Red Bull have to ensure they don’t also lose Max Verstappen or a “cascade” of other key personnel.

Although many of the headlines and rumours this year have been about Verstappen leaving Red Bull, Newey beat him to the punch when it was announced on Wednesday this season would be his last full year with Red Bull.

‘Of course, Red Bull have both – had both’

The design guru, whose cars have won 25 championships including 13 with Red Bull alone, will leave the team in the first quarter of 2025 and until then will be mainly focused on Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar.

It remains to be seen if the Briton’s departure is the catalyst in others leaving.

It has Jos Verstappen claiming the team is “in danger of falling apart” while Mika Hakkinen says it could “destabilise” the team.

Brundle, though, believes Red Bull will be okay, if they hold onto triple World Champion Max Verstappen and avoid a “house of cards” collapse in the design team.

“The word genius is used quite often and I would definitely agree with that,” he told Sky Sports. “Adrian Newey had a habit of turning up at a team and sooner than later they start winning a lot of World Championships.

“He’s got a big-picture view of the aerodynamics in particular. He’s a very clever man.

“There was no doubt about it, if you were starting a Formula 1 team the top two people – or certainly on my list – would be Adrian Newey and Max Verstappen. And of course, Red Bull have both. Had both.

“Adrian Newey, I think he’s going to do some engineering meetings this year and a half dozen Grands Prix, but he’s not going to be actively involved now in the Formula 1 team per se, especially with the big 2026 regulation changes coming up, where I think his experience and knowledge would be quite key.

“And they’re going to finish off the hypercar, the RB17, that he’s doing with the team.

“So for me, the key here, the key element is will there be a cascade of other personnel leaving the team? I’m not sure there will be.

“I think there might be quite a lot of skill, engineering skills and other skill sets there thinking, ‘wow, this is our chance to prove that we can actually do this, it’s not all about Adrian Newey’.

“So I think as long as they don’t lose Max Verstappen and it’s not a house of cards with a lot of other key personnel, I think they’ll survive it.”

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‘Adrian has been unhappy from time to time for quite a period of years now’

But while it was suggested back in February that Newey was unhappy at Red Bull in light of the Christian Horner saga, Brundle believes believes the Briton has been unhappy for “quite a period of years now”.

As for what could’ve been the final straw, that’s speculation, but as Brundle put it, “something” has made him want to walk away from the championship-winning team.

“I think Adrian has been unhappy from time to time for quite a period of years now at Red Bull,” said the former F1 driver. “We’ve had this story before, but finally he’s decided to leave.

“He did a new contract until the end of 2025, and it [the press release] says in the first quarter of 2025 year he will leave but that can be Jan 1 or March the 31st I guess.

“I am surprised with this phase, I think Red Bull have got a great chance of winning this championship and next year’s World Championship, he obviously gets paid a lot of money so something has made him want to step away from Red Bull.”

Read next: The fall of the Red Bull empire? What Newey’s exit means for Horner and Verstappen