McLaren tease Adrian Newey reunion project with ‘comfortable’ prediction made

Oliver Harden
A close-up shot of a smiling Adrian Newey with a prominent McLaren logo alongside him

Adrian Newey at McLaren: it happened before, but could it happen again?

Zak Brown, the McLaren chief executive, has teased that Adrian Newey is “definitely not done” with F1 as the design guru prepares to leave Red Bull next year.

Red Bull confirmed last week Newey, the most decorated individual in F1 history, will leave the team in early F1 2025 having been a central figure behind the Milton Keynes-based outfit’s success with the likes of Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen.

Adrian Newey to rejoin McLaren after Red Bull exit?

The announcement of Newey’s departure came amid huge speculation that the 65-year-old has received contract offers from Aston Martin and Ferrari in recent weeks.

It remains to be seen whether more teams, including Mercedes and McLaren, will join the race to sign Newey.

A move to McLaren would see Newey return to the team where he spent eight years between 1997 and 2005, helping Mika Hakkinen to two consecutive title triumphs in 1998/99.

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However, Newey’s manager and former F1 team owner Eddie Jordan raised the possibility last week that the veteran could walk away from F1 entirely upon his Red Bull exit.

Appearing on F1’s Beyond The Grid podcast, Brown played down the prospect of a move to sign Newey – but claimed that the design genius is highly likely to remain in the sport.

He said: “We’re very happy with what we have.

“He’s obviously the most successful designer of all time and a good friend – we go race cars together, we’re going to go do the Monaco historics next week – but I’m very happy with the team that we have.

“It’s fascinating that he’s left and let’s see what it is does. He’s been doing this a long time.

“I know Eddie Jordan works with him and looks after him and said: ‘Look, don’t expect him to just jump into something new tomorrow.’

“I take that at face value. I think Adrian is going to go and enjoy Monaco historics next week and take some time to figure out what he wants to do.

“I think he’ll continue in F1. He loves the sport. I think he’s definitely not done.

“He’s doing the [RB17] track car, he obviously did the [Aston Martin] Valkyrie, he’s talked to me about how he’d love to win Le Mans, he was in IndyCar – that’s where his relationship with Bobby Rahal, when he was running Jaguar, came from – so I think he likes IndyCar.

“What I can comfortably say is he’s not done with motorsport.

“Where he pops up, who knows?”

Asked directly if Newey could play a role in McLaren’s sportscar activities, Brown replied: “Never say never, but it’s not a conversation I’ve had with him.

“We’re currently running GT3, so that’s really out of our automotive business and – because it’s a road car production-based racecar – so I think it wouldn’t really require [Newey].

“Of course he’d add value to it, but it’s not the same that I think he’s used to, which is getting his pen out and drawing a racecar.”

McLaren are a notable absentee from the Hypercar class of the World Endurance Championship, where the likes of Ferrari, Porsche and Alpine have a presence.

Brown has opened the door to a full-scale McLaren WEC assault, admitting a joint presence in F1, IndyCar and the premier category of endurance racing is his “ultimate” ambition.

He explained: “I’d love to do an LMP1 or LMDh program.

“We’re the only team who’s ever won the Triple Crown. I’d love for McLaren to be racing at the same time in Formula 1, IndyCar and the World Endurance Championship at the highest level.

“It’s great we’re now in GT3 with our automotive business, but that would be the ultimate.”

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