McLaren boss predicts Adrian Newey ‘the first domino to fall’ amid key Red Bull observation

Henry Valantine
Adrian Newey with Zak Brown.

McLaren CEO Zak Brown stood with Adrian Newey.

McLaren CEO Zak Brown believes Adrian Newey might be the ‘first domino to fall’ at Red Bull, having seen extra “resumés flying around” in the wake of the announcement of his departure.

Red Bull’s chief technology officer will depart the reigning World Champions in the first quarter of 2025 after what will be a 19-year stint at the team, with 13 Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles to date – which has left the entire paddock wondering what he will do next.

Zak Brown: Adrian Newey ‘probably the first domino to fall’ at Red Bull

Newey has headed the design team of all of Red Bull’s title-winning cars in their history, and McLaren chief executive Brown believes the announcement of his departure is “not surprising”, given the much-reported-upon state of instability Red Bull have been in behind the scenes this year.

While Newey himself stated that his time at Red Bull ending is as a result of wanting to “seek new challenges for myself”, he has been heavily linked with a potential move to Ferrari, while Aston Martin and now Williams are both said to be interested in his services.

But Brown claims there has already been a knock-on effect of his upcoming departure from Red Bull, saying he has seen an increase in the number of people from Red Bull looking to work at McLaren in future.

“Am I surprised? Six months ago, I would have been surprised,” Brown said in Miami when asked about Newey’s decision to leave Red Bull early.

“I think, given everything that’s gone on since the start of the year and knowing Adrian pretty well, and he’s a very high-integrity individual, I’m not surprised he’s moving on.

“I think the stuff that’s going on there is a bit destabilising. He’s probably the first domino to fall, my guess is not the last based on the resumés that are flying around.

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“And as far as McLaren is concerned, I’m very happy with all the work the men and women at McLaren are doing.

“I think we’ve started to show since last year, second half of last year, that they know how to put performance on the car, so I’ve got all the faith in the world with the team that we have.”

When pressed on his assertion about people from Red Bull angling for jobs at other teams in the wake of Newey’s announcement, while fellow press conference attendees Mike Krack and Laurent Mekies denied getting an uptick in job applications, Brown said more have come McLaren’s way in recent days.

On that point, he added: “Yeah, we’ve seen an increase in CVs coming in our way from the team, and I think Adrian is the most successful designer of all time, so in addition to the technical [ability] that he brings to the racing team, people want to work for people like Adrian Newey, work alongside him.

“So I think they’ll be missing what he brings to the team from a pure technical point of view, and then I think the leadership and the excitement people get from working with him will be missed.”

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