Max Verstappen ‘will leave’ Red Bull following Newey departure

With news that Adrian Newey will depart Red Bull at the end of the 2024 F1 season, speculation that Max Verstappen could also leave is up for discussion

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In a striking statement, Ralf Schumacher is convinced that Max Verstappen, the reigning Formula 1 champion, may soon leave Red Bull as the team’s crisis continues following the announcement of Adrian Newey‘s departure from Red Bull.

Schumacher, a former F1 driver and current expert commentator with Sky Sports Deutschland, believes that it won’t just be Newey leaving Red Bull’s technical team, but a number of other key personnel will jump ship. 

Max Verstappen will leave the team. Alongside other good engineers who are guaranteed to go elsewhere, some of them with Adrian Newey,” Schumacher said on Sky Sports Deutschland.

“It [Verstappen leaving] will happen next year or the year after. But I am certain that he’ll leave Red Bull.”

Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing ahead of 2024 Australian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing ahead of 2024 Australian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

According to Schumacher, Newey‘s exit marks “the beginning of the end of the great era of success in Formula 1 for Red Bull.” 

He further speculated that following Newey‘s departure, more key personnel would exit the team, which he described as “an open secret.”

As the situation within Red Bull deteriorates, Schumacher strongly believes that Verstappen will seek opportunities elsewhere, despite his current contract running until 2028.

The speculation is rife that Mercedes are courting the Dutch champion, posing a significant lure away from Red Bull

“It is known that the Dutchman is being courted by Mercedes,” said Schumacher.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner and Geri Halliwell-Horner hold hands in the paddock ahead of the 2024 Bahrain GP | Clive Rose/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner and Geri Halliwell-Horner hold hands in the paddock ahead of the 2024 Bahrain GP | Clive Rose/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Core of Red Bull’s Problems

The core of the issue, Schumacher suggests, lies with Christian Horner, the team principal of Red Bull. 

Schumacher criticised Horner’s approach to team management, particularly his belief that he can steer the team to success without the support of its longstanding team members. 

“It is actually the case that Christian Horner assumes that he doesn’t need all these people around him,” Schumacher explained, highlighting a disconnect between Horner’s vision and the collaborative ethos instilled by the late Dietrich Mateschitz, Red Bull’s co-founder.

“This is no longer the team spirit that Didi Mateschitz wanted,” Schumacher lamented. “What’s happening right now is a real shame. It’s sad that the team is falling apart like this.”

Adrian Newey looks on in the garage during practice for the Saudi Arabian GP | Mark Thompson/Getty Images
Adrian Newey looks on in the garage during practice for the Saudi Arabian GP | Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Newey’s Next Chapter and Its Impact

Turning his attention to Newey, Schumacher anticipates a major shift in the engineering landscape of Formula 1. 

“I believe that an Adrian Newey-designed Ferrari will be on track in 2026,” Schumacher revealed, suggesting that negotiations regarding Newey’s exit from Red Bull were likely led by CEO Oliver Mintzlaff, reflecting strategic planning and respect for their past achievements.

As these significant changes unfold, the future of Red Bull hangs in the balance, with the departures of both Newey and potentially Verstappen signaling a pivotal shift. 

The Formula 1 community watches closely, as the ramifications of these movements are set to redefine team dynamics and competitiveness in the seasons to come.

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.
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