Revealed: The reason why Adrian Newey turned down multiple Ferrari offers

Jamie Woodhouse
Adrian Newey inspecting the RB19 with his notebook in hand.

Red Bull design guru Adrian Newey inspecting the RB19 with his notebook in hand.

Red Bull’s Adrian Newey is one of the most sought-after figures in Formula 1, and someone who Ferrari have tried to poach several times.

He is someone who remains committed to Red Bull though, permanently if the team have their way after a new contract was recently agreed, and his presence has been invaluable.

Having designed title-winning cars for Williams and McLaren before, Newey has continued that streak as Red Bull’s chief technical officer, the team having claimed five Constructors’ titles and six Drivers’ Championships during his tenure, a trophy cabinet which is set to only expand further.

That is because Red Bull already look well on their way to an F1 2023 title double, having won all five grands prix so far, four of those featuring one-two finishes, with the likes of Aston Martin, Mercedes and Ferrari largely left to scrap among themselves over P2.

This fresh rise to dominance then for Red Bull has Newey in the limelight once more, and there will surely be a part of Ferrari that wishes it could have been them after past attempts to snare Newey.

Vice chairman Piero Ferrari would reveal that Newey previously turned down offers both from Jean Todt, who oversaw the team’s most successful F1 period to date between 1999-2004, and former Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo.

As for why he did that, well Piero has learned it was because Newey is rather settled in life in his native England.

“He said no to Montezemolo and to Jean Todt,” Piero Ferrari is widely quoted by Italian press as having told Autosprint magazine.

“Apparently he doesn’t want to move – he likes to stay in England.

“And apart from that, his undisputed skills aside, he doesn’t do it alone. He has very good people around him.” recommends

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And to that point, Piero would build further on his assessment of how strong that Red Bull team is as a unit, pointing out how they have ensured success throughout different eras.

It was with the naturally-aspirated engines when Red Bull won their four consecutive title doubles between 2010-13, and while the change to hybrid power units put a stop to that streak, Red Bull are now back to the level where they once were as Formula 1’s leading force, their current advantage over the field arguably greater than ever before.

“They are very good at building cars that are strong and go well on all circuits,” said Piero of the Red Bull team. “It’s not just now that they are strong.

“Today, Red Bull wins with hybrid engines, but previously the team won with naturally-aspirated engines. [Sebastian] Vettel won four World Championships with them and that was certainly no coincidence.”

Ferrari will be looking to build on their single podium appearance to date in F1 2023 when they go racing again in Monaco next weekend, with the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola having been cancelled due to flooding in the local area.