Official: Adrian Newey to leave Red Bull

Red Bull Racing design guru Adrian Newey, whose cars have dominated Formula 1 for decades, will leave the squad in the first quarter of next year – and he will spend his final months with the firm finishing its planned RB17 hypercar.

The 65-year-old joined the energy drinks giant’s Formula 1 squad in 2006 and has been instrumental in its rise to becoming one of the sport’s leading outfits. During his 19 years with Red Bull, the squad has claimed seven drivers’ championships, six constructors’ titles and 117 victories.

Newey isn’t directly employed as part of the Red Bull Racing operation but has been chief technology officer of the Red Bull Technology Group, and since 2014 his brief has been widened to include other projects outside of F1. That job shift was, in part, to fend off a major push for Newey’s services from Ferrari.

As part of his Red Bull Technology Group role, Newey was involved in the development of the Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar and has since begun work on Red Bull’s first hypercar, named the RB17. That car, due to be revealed this year, is a 1250bhp V8 mild hybrid with a claimed £5 million price and is designed primarily for track-day use.

In a release announcing Newey’s departure, Red Bull Racing said he would “step back” from his F1 duties to “focus on final development and delivery” of the RB17 and he will “remain involved in and committed to this exciting project until its completion”.

In a statement, Newey said it had been “a great honour to have played a key role” in Red Bull’s F1 success, but he added: “I feel now is an opportune moment to hand that baton over to others and to seek new challenges for myself.”

Since joining Red Bull, Newey has designed a string of title winners for Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen. His 2023 car is the most dominant in F1 history. Before joining the squad, he previously designed F1 race and title winners for Williams and McLaren.

Team boss Christian Horner said: “When Adrian joined Red Bull, he was already a superstar designer. Two decades later, he leaves as a true legend.” Horner added that the RB17 will “be a fitting testament and legacy to his time with us.”

German title Auto Motor und Sport first revealed Newey’s plans to leave Red Bull last week, which the BBC has subsequently reported to be linked to the controversial situation surrounding misconduct allegations against Horner. Earlier this year, an investigation cleared Horner of any wrongdoing, although the complainant has since appealed that decision.

The situation with Horner is said to have sparked a power struggle within Red Bull that has left Newey unhappy.

Subsequent reports before Newey’s departure suggest that recent negotiations have focused on the length of his ‘gardening leave’, although it is unclear if Newey will pursue another job or simply chose to retire from F1 and focus on other projects and interests.

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