Red Bull repercussions after Adrian Newey split: Will Verstappen also quit?

As Adrian Newey plans his departure from Red Bull Racing, speculation intensifies about Max Verstappen's future with the team

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In a move that has sent shockwaves through the Formula 1 world, Adrian Newey, the engineering maestro behind Red Bull‘s string of successes, is set to depart the team at the start of 2025.

The decision marks a significant blow to Red Bull and heralds potential shifts in the F1 landscape. The implications of his exit are far-reaching, not just for Red Bull but for the entire sport, raising the crucial question: What will happen to Red Bull once Newey leaves?

Adrian Newey‘s contribution to Red Bull‘s dominance in Formula 1 cannot be overstated. His innovative designs and technical prowess have been pivotal in securing multiple world championships for the team over his 19 years in Milton Keynes. His departure therefore raises serious concerns about the team’s competitive future and its ability to maintain its top-tier status.

Although not officially confirmed, strong indications suggest that Newey will join Ferrari, a move seen as a coup for the Italian team, which has not won a championship since 2008. This shift is perceived not only as a loss for Red Bull but as a significant gain for Ferrari, potentially realigning the competitive dynamics within the sport.

Max Verstappen and Adrian Newey celebrate victory after the 2024 Japanese GP | Clive Mason / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Max Verstappen and Adrian Newey celebrate victory after the 2024 Japanese GP | Clive Mason / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

The ripples from Newey‘s departure extend to Red Bull‘s leading driver, Max Verstappen. As the face of Red Bull and the most talented driver on the grid, Verstappen‘s future with the team is now a subject of intense speculation. His decision could hinge on the team’s direction post-Newey and its ability to continue competing at the highest level.

Verstappen‘s father, Jos, has voiced concerns about the stability of the team, particularly highlighting internal power struggles and potential mismanagement. Such instability could influence Verstappen‘s decision-making, especially if he perceives a decline in the team’s competitive edge or a deterioration in its internal cohesion.

Strategic Shifts and Broader Implications

Newey‘s move to Ferrari, paired with Lewis Hamilton‘s decision to sign with the Italian team, suggests a strategic realignment aimed at reviving Ferrari‘s fortunes. This combination of a leading designer and top driver could significantly boost Ferrari’s championship aspirations, thereby intensifying the pressure on Red Bull.

Furthermore, Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff is reportedly keen on signing Verstappen, adding another layer of complexity to the situation. Verstappen‘s potential availability has sparked a bidding war, underscoring the high stakes involved in retaining or acquiring a driver of his caliber.

Max Verstappen and Toto Wolff at Bernie Ecclestone's birthday celebrations in 2016 | Mark Thompson / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Max Verstappen and Toto Wolff at Bernie Ecclestone’s birthday celebrations in 2016 | Mark Thompson / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Newey‘s departure symbolizes more than just a personnel change; it signifies a potential shift in the balance of power within Formula 1. For Red Bull, the challenge will be to navigate this transition effectively, ensuring that the team remains competitive and appealing to top talent like Verstappen.

As the F1 community watches closely, the decisions made in the coming months will be critical in shaping the future not only of Red Bull but of the entire sport. Will Verstappen stay, or will he seek new opportunities elsewhere? Only time will tell, but one thing is clear: the era of Red Bull’s unchallenged dominance may be coming to an end.

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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