The Adrian Newey show hits Miami where there’s a race to be won

Adrian Newey arrived at the Miami Grand Prix on Friday and he's been making all of the F1 headlines ahead of the event


It’s been nearly two decades since Formula 1 design genius has been on the market, so it’s no surprise that all the build-up to the 2024 Miami Grand Prix is about Adrian Newey.

Why is he really leaving Red Bull? Where is he going next? What implications does it have for Max Verstappen? Newey, and his manager Eddie Jordan, negotiating a Red Bull exit is massive.

We have a second Sprint weekend of the season but, as has often been the case in F1 this year, the off-track stories are just so juicy. Plus, if Verstappen can’t be beat on the track, maybe his race could be run at Red Bull outside of the car with uncertainty about F1’s 2026 regulation changes and the loss of Newey.

Everyone loves Adrian

Newey will no longer work in the Red Bull F1 department, instead putting his efforts into the company’s first hypercar, the RB17, before leaving in early 2025.

The 65-year-old will serve no additional gardening leave and has already held talks or been made offers by Ferrari, Aston Martin and Williams.

It seems his first choice is to join Ferrari, F1‘s most biggest and most famous team. Ferrari have already snapped up Lewis Hamilton for 2025 and in the Miami pre-event press conference, there was a cheeky smile every time Hamilton was asked about Newey.

“He’s got such a great history, track record,” said Hamilton. “He’s obviously just done an amazing job through his career in engaging with teams and the knowledge that he has. And I think he would be an amazing addition.

“I think they [Ferrari] have already got a great team. They’re already making huge progress, strides forwards, their cars quicker this year. But, it would be a privilege to work with him.”

Hamilton refused to say if he was aware about the possibility of Newey being available, when he decided to leave Mercedes for Ferrari at the end of this year.

It’s been a poor start to the season for Hamilton, his worst ever in F1, with three ninth places, a seventh and a retirement. The 39-year-old insists he’s still motivated but also revealed he regularly talks to Ferrari president John Elkann and team principal Frederic Vasseur.

“I’ve never been in this situation before, so it’s a unique scenario,” said Hamilton. “On one side, I’m really excited for turning up and working with my guys, and then I’m excited for the future at the same time.

“In terms of how fans have responded, it’s been great, because I’m kind of mingling with fans from both teams. But, right now my heart’s still with Mercedes and I really want to continue to deliver and lift them up. That’s not only my job, but my desire this year.

“As difficult as it’s been, we still rally together and Iā€™m really proud of everyone that I’m working with. And I’m really hoping that the year gets better. I don’t want to say it can’t get worse, but I definitely think we will improve.”

Lewis Hamilton during 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Mercedes / LAT Images
Lewis Hamilton during 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Mercedes / LAT Images

Verstappen battered with Newey questions

Reigning F1 world champion Verstappen was not asked a single question about this weekend’s Miami GP in the 10-minute written media scrum on Thursday.

As ever, the Dutchman was very honest and relaxed about the whole situation, underling his persona that nothing fazes him, which is one reason he leads Sergio Perez by 25 points in the drivers’ championship.

“All of these things a couple of years ago would have been a bit unexpected, but I think it’s always very important to remain calm and focused on your job, know who you’re working with, feel comfortable,” said Verstappen.

“At the end of the day, we need to have the fastest car. That’s what I always demanded, that’s what we finally got for a couple of years now, and we have a very strong technical team that are part of the team for a long time. So basically, it goes on like it was going before.”

On the track, Verstappen is favourite to make it three Miami wins in a row and maintain his 100 percent winning record at the event.

Red Bull‘s upgrade in April at the Japanese GP has just edged them further ahead of the field but with just one hour of practice before Sprint Qualifying on Friday evening, there is some jeopardy that the car may not work straight away.

“I think the last few weekends have been good,” said Perez, whose last win in F1 was over a year ago. “I think the upgrade we introduced in Suzuka should perform better in these sort of places. It will be also quite interesting to see on a very different circuit to the ones we’ve been.

“We’re still in the early stages of the season, so it will be interesting to see where we are relative to everyone else in this place. Last year, qualifying went all right, so I believe that we can be alright here.”

Adrian Newey, the Chief Technical Officer of Red Bull during 2024 Japanese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Adrian Newey, the Chief Technical Officer of Red Bull during 2024 Japanese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Mercedes and McLaren bring upgrades to Miami

Normally, teams don’t want to bring updates to the car on a Sprint weekend because of the limited practice time. However, McLaren and Mercedes have brought significant developments to Miami.

McLaren are looking for more grip in the slow-speed corners, whereas Mercedes simply need more downforce in all areas and the awkward Miami track will certainly show if either team have made up ground.

It leaves Ferrari looking over their shoulders this weekend, particularly after they failed to finish on the podium last time out at the Chinese GP.

“I think we will be a bit better here,” said Carlos Sainz. “Hopefully we will be closer to Red Bull compared to China, where we lost five to six tenths per lap. I don’t expect an Australia because they brought an upgrade to Japan, which has made them a bit quicker.

“TBC with McLaren, with their upgrade. If McLaren didn’t bring an upgrade, we would be the same or ahead. With their upgrade, we are going to need to watch them. I think we will be in a very tight fight with them.”

John Smith
John Smith
Editor at and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
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