Max Verstappen and others ‘guaranteed’ to follow Adrian Newey out of Red Bull, claims ex-F1 driver

Jamie Woodhouse
Adrian Newey and Max Verstappen smile for the cameras after 2022 United States GP success

Happier times? Adrian Newey and Max Verstappen smile for the cameras at the 2022 United States Grand Prix

With Adrian Newey heading for the Red Bull exit door and already finished on the Formula 1 side of things, Max Verstappen will leave a Red Bull team destined to “disappear into mediocrity”.

That is the claim made by six-time F1 race winner Ralf Schumacher, who does not believe that Newey will be the only high-profile departure to come from Red Bull, the current dominant force of Formula 1.

‘Max Verstappen will leave the team’, so says Ralf Schumacher

On Wednesday, Newey and Red Bull turned the swirling rumours into confirmation that he will depart “after the first quarter of 2025”, though his focus until then will be on the RB17 hypercar project, as his Red Bull F1 involvement has come to an immediate end.

Newey is not the only key member of Red Bull Racing to have been linked with an exit in recent months, as their three-time World Champion Verstappen – who looks well set to make it four titles in a row in F1 2024 – has also consistently been involved in departure rumours, despite claiming he sees no reason to leave the team.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has made it clear that he wants to bring Verstappen to the team, so will hope Schumacher’s belief that Verstappen is destined for the Red Bull exit door proves true. Schumacher also does not believe that Verstappen will be alone on that front.

“Max Verstappen will leave the team. Alongside other good engineers who are guaranteed to go elsewhere, some of them with Adrian Newey,” Schumacher told Sky Germany.

“Will it happen next year or the year after? But I am certain that he will leave Red Bull.”

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If Verstappen were to sensationally leave Red Bull, it is Mercedes who are the top contender to acquire his services, but how about Newey? Has his legendary Formula 1 career reached its conclusion.

Schumacher does not think so. Instead, he believes Newey will head for Ferrari, a team which has attempted to sign him on multiple occasions in the past.

“It was no coincidence that he becomes available at the beginning of 2025,” said Schumacher. “I think even [Red Bull managing director] Oliver Mintzlaff negotiated that this would happen. Out of respect for what they have achieved together, of course.

“I believe that an Adrian Newey-designed Ferrari will be driving in 2026.”

As for Red Bull, without the influence of one of F1’s greatest designers in Newey, Schumacher believes their future is very bleak.

With all of his predictions factored in, Schumacher reckons Red Bull are destined to decline into “mediocrity” and fast.

“Red Bull will now disappear into mediocrity within a short time,” he claimed.

Mediocrity is certainly a term Red Bull know nothing about in recent times, with Verstappen set to chase a fifth win of the season at the upcoming Miami Grand Prix.

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