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Formula 1 Emilia Romagna GP

Newey not ready for F1 retirement as he'll “probably go again” at another team

Departing Red Bull designer Adrian Newey has given the firmest hint yet that he'll return to Formula 1 rather than contemplate retirement.

Adrian Newey, Chief Technology Officer, Red Bull Racing, on the grid

Newey is set to leave Red Bull after an extremely successful 18-year stint at the team, designing the cars that propelled Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen to multiple world championships.

But amid political unrest at Red Bull, an investigation into Christian Horner that was dismissed and a "whole host of other reasons", Newey has decided to walk away from the Milton Keynes-based team, shifting his focus to completing the RB17 hypercar that will be presented at July's Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Newey, who has been heavily linked to a role at Ferrari as teams lay the groundwork for the crucial 2026 regulation changes, has negotiated a deal that allows him to join a rival outfit in March 2025.

Speaking to Eddie Jordan at an Oyster Yachts event at last week's Monaco Historic Grand Prix, he has given the firmest indication yet that he is not done with F1.

“If you’d asked me 15 years ago, at the age of 65 would I seriously be considering changing teams, going somewhere else and doing another four or five years, I’d have said you’re absolutely mad,” Newey said.

But he then explained that he saw how his own father "lost his mojo a bit" when retiring at the same age that Newey is now.

Adrian Newey, Chief Technology Officer, Red Bull Racing

Adrian Newey, Chief Technology Officer, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

He also took inspiration - and advice - from former F1 supreme Bernie Ecclestone, who is still very active into his 90s, and IndyCar owner Roger Penske, who is the most powerful figure in American racing at the age of 87.

“I asked them both: 'What’s your secret?' Because they’ve kept going and going, and for their age they’re phenomenally mentally agile and physically agile,” Newey revealed.

“They both said that old thing that the brain is like a muscle, it needs exercise and so you need to keep doing that.

“Also, I’ve wanted to work in motor racing as a designer since I was the age of eight or 10. I’ve been lucky enough to fulfil that ambition, to have got that first job and been in motor racing ever since. So every day has just been a bonus, really. I just love what I do.

“I guess I’ll have a bit of a holiday. I feel a little bit tired at the moment. But at some point, I’ll probably go again.”

Newey expressed regret that the news of his departure was released on the 30th anniversary of Ayrton Senna's fatal accident in Imola, in a Williams he designed, and was taken aback by how big the news was.

Adrian Newey, Chief Technology Officer, Red Bull Racing

Adrian Newey, Chief Technology Officer, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

“It was a very difficult and unfortunate day for that press release to come out," Newey said.

“The Miami Grand Prix itself was strange because I was there in a strategy function, hence being on the pitwall, but I wasn’t involved in any of the engineering decisions, or in any of the engineering meetings, I was just being wheeled around for press, basically.

“I never thought it would be big news, to be perfectly honest, I never really thought about it. For it to be in all the flipping papers and on the telly and stuff was almost a bit of a shock.”

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