Red Bull staff exodus predicted upon Adrian Newey departure by former Ferrari engineer

Henry Valantine
Adrian Newey, pictured 2023.

Red Bull's Adrian Newey looks on.

Former Ferrari engineer Ernest Knoors believes that, if Adrian Newey decides to leave Red Bull, it could prompt “question marks” for those who remain at the team, and even potentially make staff open to a move of their own.

Newey was widely reported this week to be considering his future at Red Bull after 18 years at the team, though he remains under contract until the end of 2025 and the team stated that they are “unaware of him joining any other team.”

Could possible Adrian Newey departure prompt a Red Bull exodus?

It is worth noting that, despite the widespread rumours circulating the key Red Bull figure, there has been no official confirmation that he is set to leave the team.

The fact it has been talked about so widely has prompted plenty of the debate on the subject, however, and ex-Ferrari engineer Knoors explained that if the totemic figure of Newey did end up departing the team he has helped bring to the top of Formula 1, it could lead others to question their own positions in the team.

“I went through this myself at Ferrari,” Knoors told RacingNews365 of a changing-of-the-guard moment within a dominant team, from his own experience.

“At one point the Michael Schumacher period came to an end there, Ross Brawn then also left.

“When such a leading person decides to go, it’s always something you have to wonder about: where is this going?”

While Newey and other senior Red Bull figures have stressed upon the team element of putting their cars together, with the likes of technical director Pierre Waché stepping up in recent years, it is still Newey who has overarching charge of the department as chief technology officer.

But even if others are flourishing, Knoors believes that having a figurehead such as Newey depart would create an issue for the stability of the team – and it would be up to Christian Horner to hold onto enough talent to sustain Red Bull moving forward.

PlanetF1.com recommends

Follow PlanetF1.com’s WhatsApp channel for all the F1 breaking news!

Adrian Newey sabbatical? What we know so far about shock Red Bull exit rumours

“Whether Waché has more influence doesn’t really matter that much,” Knoors said.

“When such a leading figure of your team and such a greatness leaves, it always creates question marks with the people who work under it. It creates unrest in that organisation.

“It makes people, engineers and mechanics, more open to offers from other teams, and you always have that with a team that performs at the top of its game for a very long time.

“At some point people then start looking around, maybe the people who are not quite at the top. Are there opportunities? Are there openings on other teams where they can step up?

“It is the big risk for Red Bull. The stability of the team. What else is going to happen? Who else is going to leave?

“At some point a strong leader, in this case Christian Horner, does have to make sure he keeps enough techies and bright minds in that team.

“And is Christian Horner currently the undisputed and impeccable leader who can provide that? That may well be questionable.”

Read next: The seven potential Haas candidates for F1 2025 seat after Nico Hulkenberg exit