July 23, 2024

HORNER Christian (gbr), Team Principal of Red Bull Racing, portrait during the 2023 Formula 1 Rolex Grosser Preis von Osterreich, 2023 Austrian Grand Prix, 9th round of the 2023 Formula One World Championship from June 30 to July 2, 2023 on the Red Bull Ring, in Spielberg, Austria - Photo DPPI

Christian Horner has shared some more thoughts on Adrian Newey’s impending departure from Red Bull, with their hugely successful partnership set to come to an end after almost two decades and a hatful of titles.

Newey joined Red Bull ahead of the 2006 season and played a key role in transforming the Milton Keynes operation from points scorers to world champions, with his designs so far delivering six constructors’ championships and seven drivers’ crowns.

However, ahead of the Miami Grand Prix, it was announced that current Chief Technical Officer Newey is to leave the squad in the first quarter of 2025, allowing him to “seek new challenges” for the future.

Asked in an interview with Sky Sports F1 why Newey has decided to leave Red Bull, Horner said: “He’s been hard at it the last 30 years… seven years with Williams, seven years with McLaren, and he’s done the best part of 20 years with ourselves.

“Just speaking with him, he’s reached a point where the team’s in great, great shape, we’re performing at such a high level, and he feels that now’s the right for him to step away, take a bit of time out.”

Adrian Newey talks to the Red Bull team in Miami after it was announced earlier in the week he would be departing in 2025

While Horner stressed that Red Bull’s “key pillars” are in place for the future with the rest of the core technical team “all on long-term contracts”, he admitted the team will miss Newey’s presence when the time comes.

“He’s a formidable engineer,” Horner continued. “He’s always scratching for that last bit of performance… he challenges, he pushes the boundaries.

“Most of all, I’ll miss the camaraderie. We’ve shared a lot of highs and lows over the last 18 years, and he’s been sitting next to me on the pit wall throughout that time. There’s been 117 victories and quite a few world championships along the way.”Red Bull get new name in US$300m Oracle title sponsor deal - SportsPro

Denying that any tensions at Red Bull and the noise surrounding the team so far this year had played a part in Newey’s decision to leave, Horner added: “I think this has been coming for some time.

“There was discussion pretty much 12 months ago that it might have been the time for Adrian to look at stepping back, so I know it’s been on his mind for some time. It’s been something we’ve been having to plan for.

“And what better time to go than with the run of form that we’ve had over the last couple of seasons, with the way that the team is performing? He’s stepping aside, not leaving the company, but stepping aside from Formula 1 while we’re right at the top of our game.

“We’ll be very sad to see him go, he’s been an immense part of our team over the last pretty much two decades. It’ll be with sadness that we see him depart but also everything… the show goes on.”

As for where Newey might end up next, with his name being linked to a host of teams, including Ferrari and Aston Martin, Horner underlined his earlier suggestion that the 65-year-old is keen to initially take a break from life in the fast lane.

“I think he’s earned that right to have a bit of time out, spend some time with his wife and family, and that’s what he’s very keen to do,” Horner commented. “Then if he decides that he wants to have another run at F1, who knows?

“The ironic thing is, Adrian’s always hated every single regulation change, and 2026 is a unique one because it’s both chassis and engine regs, but it’s a very different world these days with the cost cap and the restrictions that we have on resource.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *