Top Formula One designer Adrian Newey says his decision to quit McLaren for Red Bull Racing was not motivated by money
"It's nothing to do with money," he told the Daily Express newspaper on Thursday. "My deal with Red Bull Racing provides identical money.
"The fact is, I had made up my mind to go even though I have really enjoyed my eight and a half years with McLaren and get on very well with everyone there.
"I will be sorry to leave but the easy option would have been to stay," added the 46-year-old.
The Guardian newspaper reported on Wednesday that Newey would be getting around $10 million a year at Red Bull, owned by Austrian energy drink billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz, after McLaren baulked at increasing his salary in contract renewal negotiations.
"There is more of a risk leaving McLaren for Red Bull, but I wanted to join a young team and be much more involved in how it grows," said the Briton.
Newey, who designed a string of Championship-winning cars with Williams and McLaren, will link up with British driver David Coulthard again at Red Bull after working with him at both Williams and McLaren.
He said the Scot had also influenced his decision.
"David is a very straightforward, honest guy and he felt that he had been rejuvenated at Red Bull," said Newey.
"I considered going off to build racing yachts but F1 is still a fantastic arena to be involved with and this offers a unique challenge."
Newey said Red Bull, seventh in the Constructors' Championship this year, could target the title in the long term.
"Red Bull are not in this just to make up the numbers and promote the brand," he declared.
"They have invested cleverly, they have Ferrari engines next year and the goal is to eventually win the World Championship. That is not going to happen in the next year or two, but it is the long-term view of the team and myself."
OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains
Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008
Technology lies at the heart of the F1 story and it fascinates fans, which is why the commercial rights holder plans to compel teams to show more of their ‘secrets’. STUART CODLING fears this will encourage techno-quackery…
He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him
It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as BEN ANDERSON discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…
From being lapped by his own team-mate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...
As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing windtunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places
After winning his past few Formula 1 titles at a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit