Why Newey departure is ‘seismic’ for F1 and could affect Hamilton

Daily News
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Why Newey departure is ‘seismic’ for F1 and could affect Hamilton

Sky Sports F1‘s David Croft believes Adrian Newey’s shock departure from Red Bull is “seismic” for the sport.

Ahead of this weekend’s Miami Grand Prix, Red Bull confirmed Newey, who is regarded as the greatest designer in F1 history, will leave the team in early 2025.

Sky Sports News understands Ferrari have approached Newey and the 65-year-old will not have to serve a period of gardening leave when he leaves next year, leaving him free to join another Formula 1 team to help design their 2026 car.

Newey has built 14 championship-winning cars during his time at Williams and McLaren in the 1990s, then Red Bull over the last 15 years.

“It’s huge, seismic for so many reasons. Not only is Adrian Newey on the market for 2026 and the big regulation change but he also leaves Red Bull and their F1 project with immediate effect, so it’s a double whammy for all the teams,” Croft told Sky Sports News.

“Some may have the resources and persuasive powers to try and tempt the greatest car designer F1 has ever known, but even others that don’t, now know he’s not part of the Red Bull stable.

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Adrian Newey will leave Red Bull in the first quarter of 2025 and will immediately cease technical collaborations with the Red Bull Formula One team. But can any teams convince Adrian Newey to work for them?

“The work that Adrian Newey has been doing to make Red Bull such a dominant force, certainly over the last couple of years and in his time there, that will now stop.

“The immediate response from every other team will be ‘good, he’s gone. He’s left Red Bull and it might give us a chance to catch up’.”

Could Newey and Hamilton join forces at Ferrari?

Newey joined Red Bull in 2006, ahead of the team’s second F1 campaign, and helped build them into a front-running team from 2009 onwards, when they got their first win.

The team won four consecutive drivers and constructors’ titles from 2010 to 2013 and have returned to dominance in recent years since Max Verstappen controversially won the 2021 drivers’ championship.

Ferrari have been Red Bull’s closest challengers in recent years and they are the favourites to sign Newey, who would unite with Lewis Hamilton should he choose to move to Maranello.

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Jenson Button feels Adrian Newey’s departure from Red Bull is one of the biggest stories to come out of Formula One in recent years as he’s the ‘best designer in the world’. You can listen to the latest episode of the Sky Sports F1 Podcast now

Croft continued: “There will be some that try to tempt Newey to come to them – Ferrari, who have made offers to sign Newey in the past which he’s turned down, and Aston Martin who we understand to have made a very bold bid and a very sizable sum of money to tempt Adrian to go to their factory at Silverstone and link up with their Group CEO Martin Whitmarsh, who Newey worked with in his McLaren days.

“It’s a huge, huge story. As much as Red Bull try to downplay it and that Newey is just one person and one person doesn’t make the final difference, in Newey’s case it does.

“His record, the championships he’s won and the cars he’s designed over the years that have won over 200 Grands Prix, shows just what a force he is.

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Ferrari’s long-standing interest in Red Bull’s Adrian Newey appears to be developing after a recent meeting between the two parties, following the news that the chief technical officer is to leave Red Bull in early 2025.

“I think we are all a bit romantic at heart but this could be the most romantic story that Lewis Hamilton’s ever had in his career, if Adrian Newey is to go and join the seven-time world champion at Ferrari.

“What a force that would be. Hamilton, Charles Leclerc and Newey at Maranello to try and bring back the glory days for Ferrari and to try and help Hamilton to an eighth world title and maybe Leclerc to a first.”

Verstappen future at Red Bull questioned further

Questions surrounding Max Verstappen’s future will also be a major topic in Miami this weekend, as the reigning world champion hasn’t been fully settled at Red Bull since allegations against Christian Horner over inappropriate behaviour emerged in February. Horner denies and has been cleared of the claims.

The saga reached its most heightened point during March’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix when, amid reports that Red Bull’s motorsport advisor Marko was on the verge of leaving, Verstappen suggested he could follow the Austrian out of the team.

The situation has quietened recently but Mercedes’ Toto Wolff has made it clear he would “love” to sign Verstappen, who has a contract until 2028.

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Max Verstappen discusses the importance of Adrian Newey at Red Bull and praises the chief technical officer for what he brings to the team but says he prefers to drive older generation cars

With Red Bull manufacturing their own engine for the first time for the 2026 season, the absence of Newey also adds another huge question mark as to whether they can create a title-challenging car, which is what matters most to Verstappen.

“Where does this announcement leave Max Verstappen and his future at Red Bull?” pondered Croft.

“There’s been a lot of talk about Verstappen potentially saying goodbye to the Milton Keynes-based team. Is Verstappen that impressed with the engine programme for 2026? Rumours are that Red Bull aren’t quite as well advanced as other teams.

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Sky Sports’ Nigel Chiu breaks down what might be next for Adrian Newey, after Red Bull confirmed the exit of their chief technical officer in early 2025.

“There is talk of his representatives meeting up with Toto Wolff and looking to a move to Mercedes from next season over the Miami weekend. Max is contracted until 2028 but Newey was contracted until the end of 2025. This is a huge story for F1 and there will be a lot of questions asked.”

Sky Sports F1’s live Miami GP schedule

Thursday May 2
6.30pm: Drivers’ press conference

Friday May 3
3pm: F1 Academy Practice 1
5pm: Miami GP Practice One (session starts at 5.30pm)
8.20pm: F1 Academy Practice 2
9pm: Miami GP Sprint Qualifying (session starts at 9:30pm)

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A look back some of the funniest celebrity encounters at the Miami Grand Prix

Saturday May 4
3.25pm: F1 Academy Qualifying
4pm: Miami GP Sprint (race starts at 5pm)
6.30pm: Ted’s Sprint Notebook
7.05pm: F1 Academy Race 1
8pm: Miami GP Qualifying build-up*
9pm: Miami GP Qualifying*
11pm: Ted’s Qualifying Notebook*

Sunday May 5
6.05pm: F1 Academy Race 2
7.30pm: Grand Prix Sunday Miami GP build-up*
11pm: Chequered Flag: Miami GP reaction*
Midnight: Ted’s Notebook*

*also live on Sky Sports Main Event

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