Red Bull could lose key figure to British-based rivals

Christian Horner’s chief technical officer Adrian Newey could head to a British rival

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Adrian Newey could dramatically quit Red Bull after opening talks were between the chief technical officer by Lawrence Stroll’s Aston Martin team took place at the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

His departure would see a reunion with Dan Fallows, who helped design the 2022 car for the reigning world champions, in what could be the last huge payday of Newey‘s time in Formula 1 as he is now aged 65.

The technical mind is regarded as both a genius and the best brain on the grid and he has designed cars winning a total of 25 championships and over 200 races since his 1988 debut as a lead designer, including Red Bull’s dominant 2022, 2023 and 2024 machines.

That means he’s as sought-after as most of the drivers, so it’s he who Stroll has decided to go after and not Max Verstappen. The aim is to catapult the team the billionaire rescued in 2019 to the front of the grid following a strong, but eventually disappointing, 2023 season.

Lance Stroll‘s father has an estimated net worth of three billion pounds ($3.9bn USD) and he is willing to part ways with a large chunk of that to land his man, as he met with Newey at a hotel during the 2024 Saudi Arabian GP in Jeddah for preliminary talks.

Early stage talks between the pair would likely be centred around dates, shared expectations and ambitions and would be fluid rather than specific, ironed out details.

Newey is also said to have been targeted by Ferrari and the Italians are a team he said he would have moved to if it didn’t involve moving his children when they were young and already based in the United Kingdom, hence his decisions to remain with Williams and McLaren.

The allure to work with F1’s most famous team isn’t all that’s on offer there either, as Fred Vasseur’s ship offers him the chance to work with two exciting drivers in Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc from 2025 onwards.

Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner and Adrian Newey, the Chief Technical Officer after 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Why would Newey join Aston Martin?

Red Bull is a pretty comfortable place to be at the moment for Newey. His cars enjoy a comfortable margin to the next challenger on the grid and he deeply embedded into the team after joining them way back in 2006, almost 20 seasons ago.

But Aston Martin can be an attractive prospect for several reasons such as a new environment, large salary and the fact that he wouldn’t even need to move homes as Stroll’s Silverstone-based team are located just 30 kilometres away from Milton Keynes.

Furthermore, from 2026 Aston Martin will partner up with Honda as their engine supplier, ditching Mercedes power after over a decade. Newey has made it no secret that he likes working with Honda, who he collaborated with for Red Bull’s 2019, 2020 and 2021 cars.

Honda have also inspired the RBPT engine that the team currently uses after they “left” the sport at the end of 2021, selling the power unit to Red Bull whilst offering them technical assistance at the race-tracks.

Aston Martin can also offer him the chance to design hypercars, which is something Newey is keen on doing as he created the RB17 for Red Bull and the Aston Martin Valkyrie in 2017 from when the team was affiliated with Red Bull as sponsors.

Stroll‘s outfit are now looking to push into Le Mans/WEC and the IMSA series with their hypercars, announcing the project in October 2023, meaning that Newey could also be involved in that racing project once again too.

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