‘No-one is irreplaceable’ at Red Bull…even Adrian Newey, claims ex-F1 team boss

Henry Valantine
Adrian Newey in the Red Bull garage.

Adrian Newey has often been the subject of interest from Ferrari.

Former F1 driver and team principal Luis Pérez-Sala believes “no-one is irreplaceable” at Red Bull, “no matter how good they are”, having waxed lyrical about the influence of Adrian Newey.

Pérez-Sala, formerly a Minardi driver and team principal at HRT, explained the design great was “setting the standard” from his time behind the wheel in the late 1980s, and that continues to this day.

Ex-F1 team boss explains ‘no-one is irreplaceable’ at Red Bull

The Newey-led design team at Red Bull powered its way to a second consecutive World Championship double last season by an enormous margin, with those Drivers’ and Constructors’ crowns being the remarkable 24th and 25th in a Newey-designed car in Formula 1.

Red Bull have been in the headlines for off-track matters following an internal investigation into team principal Christian Horner’s behaviour prior to the start of the season, with parent company Red Bull GmbH later dismissing an employee complaint into him.

The fallout from it has led to questions about the future of several senior figures within the team, with motorsport advisor Helmut Marko having had to reaffirm his future with Red Bull, and sources telling PlanetF1.com that Newey himself is staying with the team, after rumours linking him with a move elsewhere.

When discussing what he brings to a team, former F1 driver and team boss Pérez-Sala has seen up close what he has been capable of from the beginning.

“[Newey] is someone who has broken out of the common mould,” Pérez-Sala told Spanish publication AS.

“When I was driving he designed the Leyton House Marchs and they were already very futuristic cars.

“He saw things aerodynamically that the rest of us couldn’t see and he still does. He was way ahead of everyone else and he was setting the standard.

“The amazing thing is that he has stayed ahead of everyone else for so many years.”

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When asked if Newey is as important to Red Bull as Verstappen is behind the wheel, he added: “I usually say that Max is the goal-scorer, but Newey and the rest of the team provide the assists.

“However, no-one is irreplaceable, no matter how good they are. I’ve always believed more in the team than in individual leadership and Red Bull is making a difference because of all the people who work there.”

Red Bull head into the Australian Grand Prix weekend having scored 87 points from a possible 88, scoring two 1-2 finishes in a row to start the season and only Charles Leclerc nabbing the bonus point for fastest lap in Saudi Arabia to interrupt their perfect record on track in 2024.

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