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Newey Extends McLaren Contract

McLaren technical director Adrian Newey has extended his contract with the Formula One team but will play a less hands-on role in future

"Adrian has extended his contract with McLaren Racing and will participate in the long-term reorganisation of the technical function," a spokesperson said, announcing a restructuring from May 1.

No details were revealed about the contract, but insiders have told Autosport-Atlas that Newey has agreed a six-month extension as he plans to turn his back on the sport in a near future.

"This is something that will be kept between Adrian and the team," said the spokesperson. "But we believe his long-term future is with McLaren."

Under the reorganisation, Paddy Lowe was promoted to engineering director overseeing vehicle design, aerodynamics, simulation and race engineering. Nicholas Tombazis becomes vehicle project director.

"Adrian Newey steps back from his hands-on role but will remain as technical director, providing guidance in particular to Paddy Lowe ...and Nicholas Tombazis," the team said.

Newey, designer of a string of title-winning cars with Williams in the 1990s before moving to McLaren and helping them win more Championships, is one of the Mercedes-powered team's brightest assets.

His contract was due to run out this year and he had talked about taking a break to develop other interests away from Formula One.

"I want to have a better quality of life," he said. "I want to compete in old-timer events. I want to drive my Ford GT40 and a new two-litre Abarth Spyder which I have just bought and which used to be raced by (1970s Italian Formula One driver) Arturo Merzario."

The 46-year-old Briton also came close to joining now-defunct Jaguar in 2001 and there was speculation last year that he might return to Williams who last won a World Championship in 1997.

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