Red Bull confirm Adrian Newey will leave F1 team immediately

Red Bull's chief technical officer Adrian Newey will walk away from the team he’s worked at for almost two decades citing the internal power struggle as a reason

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Red Bull have formally announced that their legendary designer and creator of their 2022, 2023 and 2024 cars, Adrian Newey, will quit the team in the first quarter of 2025 but that he will step back from Formula 1 duties immediately.

That means that the 65-year-old is currently contracted to Red Bull Technology Group and he will continue to work on their hypercar, the RB17, as the project enters the final stages of development prior to production.

It’s unclear if he will be able to work for another team from 2025 onwards, although it’s reported by the BBC that Newey‘s lawyers are confident they can break a “non-compete” clause in his contract to allow him to depart.

“For almost two decades it has been my great honour to have played a key role in Red Bull Racing’s progress,” Newey said in a press release by Red Bull. “From upstart newcomer to multiple title-winning Team.

Adrian Newey, the Chief Technical Officer of Red Bull, Team Principal Christian Horner and his wife Geri Halliwell during 2023 British Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Adrian Newey, the Chief Technical Officer of Red Bull, Team Principal Christian Horner and his wife Geri Halliwell during 2023 British Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

“However, I feel now is an opportune moment to hand that baton over to others and to seek new challenges for myself.”

He continued: “I would like to thank the many amazing people I have worked with at Red Bull in our journey over the last 18 years for their talent, dedication and hard work.

“It has been a real privilege, and I am confident that the engineering Team are well prepared for the work going into the final evolution of the car under the four-year period of this regulation set.”

The 65-year-old’s decision to break away from an internal power struggle involving Christian Horner, who has been involved in a controversial misconduct scandal since the start of February, although he survived Red Bull’s own investigation.

Then, when it seemed like it might have been behind the 50-year-old and his racing crew, the alleged WhatsApp chats between Horner and a female ex-employee were leaked to 150 journalists and key F1 figures as the story took another twist.

That saw a lot of the conversation shift away from the team’s dominant start to the season and to the morality of Horner’s actions and his ability to lead the team going forwards with even Jos Verstappen, Max Verstappen’s father, publicly questioning Horner’s future in the role and suggesting he would tear the team apart.

“All of our greatest moments from the past 20 years have come with Adrian’s hand on the technical tiller,” Horner said in the same Red Bull press release. “His vision and brilliance have helped us to 13 titles in 20 seasons.

“His exceptional ability to conceptualise beyond F1 and bring wider inspiration to bear on the design of grand prix cars, his remarkable talent for embracing change and finding the most rewarding areas of the rules to focus on, and his relentless will to win have helped Red Bull Racing to become a greater force than I think even the late Dietrich Mateschitz might have imagined.”

During his time at Red Bull, the team has won seven world drivers’ championships and six world constructors’ championships when they were spearheaded by Sebastian Vettel and Verstappen.

Why is Newey leaving Red Bull?

There are two reasons for the departure of the man who oversaw the designs of cars that have won over 200 F1 races and a total of 25 world championships, with one being the aforementioned claims against Horner by an ex-employee of the Red Bull team.

But a second one appears to be much more personal and even offensive to him, dating back to December 2023 when Red Bull’s team boss suggested that the 65-year-old isn’t as important as outsiders would think.

“Adrian is a big part of this team and big part of what we’ve achieved,” Horner told Autosport at the time. “But, of course, his role has evolved over the last few years and the technical team beneath him led by Pierre Wache, they’re doing a wonderful job.

“And so that they’re not reliant on Adrian. He has the ability to come in, come out and work on other projects and I think that’s part of the evolution of any team.”

Newey‘s wife, Amanda, took public displeasure to Horner’s comments liking one post on X.com, formerly Twitter, that read, “Imagine being Adrian Newey right now. Wrote and sung the theme tune but Horner bags the credit.”

On January 5, she made her own thoughts perfectly clear as she also replied to a post on the social media site with a far more transparent, “What a load of hogwash.”

But despite the seemingly discontent reception to Horner’s comments and the internal power struggle, Newey seems to have ended on amicable terms with the team principal as he had words for him as he departs the team.

“On a personal note, I would also like to thank the shareholders, the late Dietrich Mateschitz, Mark Mateschitz and Chalerm Yoovidhya for their unwavering support during my time at Red Bull,” Newey added. “And Christian, who has not only been my business partner but also a friend of our respective families.

“Also, thanks to Oliver Mintzlaff for his stewardship and Eddie Jordan, my close friend and manager.”

Brandon Sutton
Brandon Sutton
Brandon is an alumni of an NCTJ and BJTC Liverpool John Moores University course, and has been with Total-Motorsport.com for over a year now. He enjoys covering all forms of motorsport but particularly focuses on Formula 1, and Brandon loves to debate various topics of the sport and other interests, especially if that topic doesn't have an open/shut answer such as the GOAT debate.
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