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Formula 1

Everything we know about Newey's Red Bull F1 exit

by Scott Mitchell-Malm
6 min read

Design legend Adrian Newey’s exit from Red Bull’s Formula 1 team has been confirmed, with the key question of 'when will he leave?' answered, 'what next?' still among the unknowns.

Newey, whose career includes 25 drivers’ and constructors’ titles across stints with Williams, McLaren and Red Bull, will leave Red Bull Racing in the first quarter of 2025.

He has been tipped for a sensational move to a rival team having been linked to both Ferrari and Aston Martin already this year.

His decision to leave brings an end to a long affiliation with Red Bull that has lasted almost 20 years, having joined from McLaren in 2006.


This looks like an amicable enough exit for Newey, handled at least in part by ex-F1 team owner Eddie Jordan who Newey describes as his “close friend and manager”.

Though he will step back from F1 design work he will continue to attend “specific races” until the end of 2024 to support Red Bull trackside.

And he will also see Red Bull’s first hypercar, the Newey-designed RB17, through to the finish. This has been a key Newey project that Red Bull has supported.

“I feel now is an opportune moment to hand that baton over to others and to seek new challenges for myself,” Newey has said.

“In the interim, the final stages of development of RB17 are upon us, so for the remainder of my time with the team my focus will lie there.”

Confirmation from Red Bull that Newey will leave the group in the first quarter of 2025 indicates an early exit has been negotiated as he was under contract until the end of 2025 with a 12-month non-compete.

That could have left Newey off-limits to another F1 team until effectively 2027.

Instead, Newey appears free to go elsewhere after the first quarter of next year. That is perfect timing for one final F1 project to be part of the “new challenges” he seeks.

He will be able to join a team in time to have significant input in the brand new 2026 car project everybody is preparing for.


The door has at least been left open to moving to another team, meaning Newey is not necessarily done with F1 - just Red Bull.

Team principal Christian Horner was key to bringing Newey to the team in the first place and kept him happy and engaged partly by giving him the freedom to pursue different projects and be as involved as he wanted on his own terms. 

But Red Bull’s technical structure has changed over the years, in no small part to accommodate Newey’s shifting involvement, and Horner has made technical director Pierre Wache a more influential part of the organisation.

He promoted Wache to technical director, made him a more prominent spokesperson, and stressed how Wache has led a team that is not dependent on Newey’s genius alone.

Privately, Newey is known to have felt he was much more influential than perhaps given credit for – and desires a role that allows him to keep designing in F1.


Newey is understood to be unimpressed with the situation around Horner following allegations made by a female member of staff earlier this year.

Red Bull GmbH declared a grievance against Horner had been dismissed after an external investigation, the details of which have been kept strictly confidential.

Plenty have been left unimpressed by how Red Bull has handled the situation and privately Newey is believed to have had his own concerns.

In addition, a deep-rooted Red Bull power struggle has been publicly exposed over recent months, in large part due to Horner’s controversy.

Horner has faced off against Jos Verstappen, the father of Red Bull’s star driver Max Verstappen, who is aligned with Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko.

As the late Dietrich Mateschitz’s man on the ground, Marko has been an intrinsic part of Red Bull’s F1 programme alongside Horner, but it has been felt that growing pressure has been put on Red Bull to force Marko out.

Beyond the internal team politics is the much-rumoured clash between the leadership of Red Bull’s parent company in Austria and Red Bull’s Thai co-owning Yoovidyah family, which is on Horner’s side.

Newey has always been assumed to be disinterested in such machinations. And it might be as simple as preferring to get out of the whole mess regardless of who ends up in charge.


Newey has not retired – at least not yet – which will only fuel speculation he could find himself working for a rival team before long.

He has been linked with moves to Ferrari and Aston Martin already this year, and it has been reported he has offers from both. Of those, only Ferrari seems to seriously appeal.

Newey has spoken openly that not working for the Maranello team, which has made him offers before, is one of the things missing from his career.

Working with Lewis Hamilton is another, and with the seven-time world champion moving to Ferrari himself in 2025, a last hurrah in red would let Newey tick off two outstanding career ‘what ifs?’.

If Newey is interested in such a switch, the key question is when he is free to do so. April 2025 seems like a reasonable assumption based on Red Bull’s announcement.

Although, if retiring is where Newey’s head is at – or another challenge outside of F1 – then the timeline becomes irrelevant.


Rivals have been sniffing blood around Red Bull’s fractured leadership since the start of the year and Newey’s exit will not stop that. It will have the opposite effect.

As much as Red Bull unofficially downplays Newey’s contribution in recent years, and instead points to the effectiveness of the technical “machine” it has built, losing a person of his stature, experience and genius is inevitably a loss. And it’s a double whammy if he takes all of that to a rival.

Then there is the prospect of it being demotivating or destabilising. Newey carries authority within the organisation and others may question their own futures.

We cannot completely rule out the possibility that Newey had become a luxury technical superstar in an organisation that had evolved beyond needing him. And others who have existed in his shadow may feel like this is the time to prove who is really behind Red Bull’s current success.

But even if Red Bull believes that, it would surely rather test the theory knowing Newey is tending to his garden or exploring a different post-F1 career entirely, than square off against him in rival colours. 

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