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Ex-Red Bull F1 drivers pay tribute to "unique genius" Newey

"Unique genius" Adrian Newey received plaudits from drivers who formerly raced for Red Bull, as the Formula 1 engineering guru prepares for his departure from the team.

Adrian Newey, Chief Technology Officer, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

Newey has agreed a long-rumoured exit from Red Bull in early 2025, resulting in speculation over his next destination should the 65-year-old wish to remain in F1.

The Briton joined Red Bull in 2006 after championship wins with Williams and McLaren, and his influence helped Red Bull climb out of F1's midfield and into the thick of title battles in the succeeding years.

He will continue in his role as chief technical officer at Red Bull for this season, where he will also complete his work on its RB17 hypercar project.

Pierre Gasly hailed him as a "unique genius" - and noted that his best memory of his half-season at Red Bull was getting the chance to work with Newey at the team.

"A unique genius I'll say; extremely talented, most successful engineer in the history of our sport," the Frenchman crooned.

"Very particular approach - I still remember going to Milton Keynes and him like drawing all sorts of stuff on his board, and I thought like, is that how we draw F1 car like these days?

"And it's just very impressive and actually, probably my best memory from Red Bull was working with such a special individual. I had a very good relationship with Adrian. Very humble guy and down to earth.

Adrian Newey, Chief Technology Officer, Red Bull Racing

Adrian Newey, Chief Technology Officer, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Alex Albon replaced Gasly at the team midway through 2019 and continued to work with Newey in 2020 as a race driver before his demotion to reserve driver the following year.

The Anglo-Thai felt that it was "inspiring" to have worked with Newey, explaining that the two worked closer together in 2021 when Albon's role encompassed simulator duties at the team's Milton Keynes base.

"He's a very nice person and everyone who knows him, he is very popular and very open-minded, I got on very well with him," Albon said.

"It'll be interesting to see his next move. I'm sure every team is chasing him down, to try and get a hold of him, but whatever he chooses, if it's retirement or racing, I wish him all the best. And obviously, our door is always open as well!

"He was very connected to the driving side. He really wanted to know how it felt. I think in some ways, he still understood that the car needs to be set up a certain way to get the most out of it.

"His office is opposite Christian's, so I'd always go to see him. I was more involved with that kind of stuff speaking with Adrian during 2021, when I was more of a sim guy, trying to fix some of the issues we had in 2020, the same kind of things understanding philosophies and what areas he needs to focus on.

"If it was something that he felt was important, he'd always come and speak to me after a Sunday and want my opinion about it, which was nice to have that relationship with someone who's obviously so influential."

Daniel Ricciardo, who drove for Red Bull between 2014 to 2018 and returned for a spell as third driver at the start of 2023, said it was a "privilege" to have driven Newey-influenced cars at the team.

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing, celebrates victory alongside Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing, Helmut Markko, Consultant, Red Bull Racing and Adrian Newey, Chief Technical Officer, Red Bull Racing

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing, celebrates victory alongside Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing, Helmut Markko, Consultant, Red Bull Racing and Adrian Newey, Chief Technical Officer, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Andrew Hone / Motorsport Images

He admitted that seeing Newey's drawing board in the office could be "kind of intimidating", but outlined how much of a fan of racing that Newey is in noting his driving efforts in classic cars at Goodwood.

"[It was] a privilege to work with him, privilege to drive several of his race cars," Ricciardo said.

"Obviously a bit of a fan of the sport and even you know, my dad, when I signed with Red Bull, was like, 'Oh, you're gonna get to work with Adrian.' That was exciting for him as well.

"Yeah, it's cool. A privilege. We'll see what he does. But obviously, I wish him well and yeah, we'll see where he lands.

"Walking into his office is kind of intimidating because of the big design board, he's probably going to ask me things I have no idea what he's talking about.

"I hoped 'don't ask me too many questions, let's just keep this fairly basic for my own good' but also he's a fan of motorsport - he gets involved, whether it's Goodwood, the Revival or things like this. He's just a fan deep down like all of us.

"And you know, obviously for him to still be heavily involved and invested in the sport. I think that also speaks to how much he loves it."

Additional reporting by Filip Cleeren and Charles Bradley

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