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 Smithhttps://total-motorsport.com
Editor at Total-Motorsport.com and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
- Advertisment -

LATEST NEWS

Conor Daly during Indy 500 Qualifying | Penske Entertainment: Karl Zemlin

Team Penske dominate Indy 500 Qualifying with VeeKay serving up a dramatic finish

0
Team Penske continued its march toward the IndyCar 2024 Indy 500 on Saturday during the first day of Qualifying,...
Nico Hulkenberg at the 2024 Emilia Romagna GP | Haas F1 Team / LAT Images

Hulkenberg admits helping Max Verstappen secure Imola pole position

0
Nico Hulkenberg has confessed to intentionally providing Max Verstappen with a slipstream during the final laps of Qualifying, assisting...
Sergio Perez during qualifying for the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Sergio Perez dispels Red Bull myth despite Imola struggles compared to Max Verstappen

0
Sergio Perez rebuffed suggestions that his Q2 exit at Imola while Max Verstappen took 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix...
Oscar Piastri during practice for the 2024 Emilia Romagna GP | McLaren

McLaren star Oscar Piastri hit with grid penalty for Emilia Romagna GP

0
McLaren driver Oscar Piastri has been handed a three-place grid drop by the FIA stewards for the Formula 1...
Carlos Sainz during practice for 2024 Emilia Romagna GP at Imola | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

“…So I gave him the finger” – Verstappen, Norris and Piastri recount bizarre shared...

0
Max Verstappen revealed he'd flipped off an Imola fan in qualifying for the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix with...

George Russell blames ‘sandwich’ for costing Mercedes in Emilia Romagna GP qualifying

0
George Russell joked that having a large lunch at Imola cost him a chance to move further up the...
Lando Norris speaks to Max Verstappen ahead of the 2023 Abu Dhabi GP | Clive Rose / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Lando Norris hits out at ‘stupid’ Max Verstappen critics after Imola pole

0
Lando Norris has called out Max Verstappen's critics for being "a bit stupid" after the Red Bull driver continued...
Max Verstappen after securing pole position for the 2024 Emilia Romagna GP at Imola | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

How Verstappen and Red Bull reversed uncompetitive Imola form to take surprise pole

0
Max Verstappen revealed he would've been happy with fifth place in qualifying for the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix...
Carlos Sainz during practice for 2024 Emilia Romagna GP at Imola | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

F1 Emilia Romagna GP 2024 Qualifying: Highlights and reaction

0
Welcome to this Total-Motorsport.com F1 blog for Qualifying at the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, coming to you from the paddock at...
Max Verstappen during final practice ahead of the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Verstappen defies Imola woes and McLaren to secure stunning Emilia Romagna GP pole

0
Max Verstappen defied Red Bull's struggles throughout their 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix to take a scintillating Imola pole...
- Advertisment -