‘Doesn’t make sense’ – Ted Kravitz questions Zak Brown’s prediction over more big-name Red Bull departures

Michelle Foster
McLaren CEO Zak Brown

Zak Brown has been McLaren CEO since April 2018.

Zak Brown may be claiming, perhaps even hoping, that other members of Red Bull’s championship-winning design team will follow Adrian Newey out of the door but Ted Kravitz does not see that happening.

Red Bull announced in the build-up to the Miami Grand Prix that Newey would leave the team in the first quarter of 2025, calling time on a Red Bull career that spanned almost two decades.

Ted Kravitz questions Zak Brown’s ‘not the first person to leave’ claim

Winning 13 championship titles with the Milton Keynes squad, two more likely to follow this season, Newey’s departure has been billed as a huge loss for the reigning World Champions.

One that could be compounded if other key personnel also leave.

According to McLaren chief Zak Brown, there’s a big possibility that could happen with the American claiming McLaren are receiving many Red Bull CVs. Toto Wolff says he too has seen an uptick in Red Bull personnel applying at Mercedes.

However, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner was quick to state that he is not at all worried if “one or two” CVs are dished out, after all, Red Bull signed “220” personnel from Mercedes’ engine division.

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Sky Sports pit lane reporter Kravitz weighed in on the CV argument, saying he doesn’t believe Red Bull’s key design staff will leave given Newey’s departure allows them to shine.

“Zak Brown has had his say about Adrian Newey,” said Kravitz. “He said, ‘I’m not surprised he’s moving on, the stuff that’s been going on that is a bit destabilising’.

“Zak wanted to press the point about ‘not the first person to leave Red Bull’ to which Red Bull actually put out a statement to deny it.

“I’m not sure Zak is right on that, I can’t see Pierre Waché and Ben Waterhouse, all the people underneath Newey, going because he went. It doesn’t make sense to me.

“They would be more secure in their role and happier that they can flourish and be the next genius with Adrian leaving the team I would have thought, so I don’t think he’s right on that.

“But is what Zak saying about what’s been happening in the power struggle between Christian and Helmut Marko destabilising the team and Adrian’s leaving being a result of that right?

“Well, I don’t know. But that is the view of Zak Brown.

“But Adrian did refer in his chat with Martin [Brundle] to events that have unfolded this year. ‘As events unfolded this year’, said Adrian Newey, ‘I considered whether it’s time to move on’.”

Ted Kravitz ponders Jos Verstappen’s ‘explode’ claim

But while he didn’t agree with Brown, he does think there could be something to Jos Verstappen’s claims earlier this year that Red Bull would fall apart if Horner remained in charge.

Speaking to the Daily Mail when the Briton was investigated for inappropriate behaviour, Jos Verstappen said Red Bull would “explode” unless Horner was given the boot.

He wasn’t as the charge was dismissed, and now Newey has left.

“I remind you,” said Kravitz, “about what Jos Verstappen said after all the controversy around Red Bull earlier on in the year. Do you remember? My question is was Jos right?

“Because this power struggle between Christian Horner and Helmut Marko and all of them in the power struggle. ‘There is tension here while he remains in position’, said Jos Verstappen, ‘the team is in danger of being torn apart. It can’t go on the way it is, it will explode’.

“So is Jos talking about Adrian Newey leaving? And if he was then Jos was right.”

Read next: Adrian Newey’s next move: Ranking F1 legend’s options for life after Red Bull