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Newey’s F1 plans unchanged as he's set for trackside return in Japan

Adrian Newey’s involvement in Red Bull’s push for Formula 1 title glory is unchanged, Autosport has learned, despite wild rumours emerging this week surrounding his future.

Adrian Newey, Red Bull Racing Chief Technical Officer looks on from the pitwall

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

The legendary F1 designer has been an integral part of Red Bull’s recent success, working in close collaboration with technical director Pierre Wache and his team on the progress with its new RB20 car.

Although Newey does not work full-time on the F1 operation, with his chief technical officer role expanding to include other projects, he still devotes a lot of time to ensuring Red Bull hits its full potential at the race tracks.

Newey was present at the season-opening Bahrain and Saudi Arabian Grands Prix, but a scheduled absence from the next race in Australia is understood to have fuelled talk that he could be stepping back from some of his responsibilities.

There have even been rumours that Red Bull wants to move him exclusively on to its RB17 hypercar project.

It was suggested that this could have been because of concerns over F1’s budget cap limits and potential unease about the political situation at the top of the team amid the power battle for control of the grand prix outfit.

However, sources have indicated that any idea of Newey changing roles is wide of the mark. His role remains unchanged and, with work continuing on the RB20, he will return trackside as scheduled at the Japanese Grand Prix next month.

Adrian Newey, Red Bull Racing Chief Technical Officer

Adrian Newey, Red Bull Racing Chief Technical Officer

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Newey has long been surrounded by speculation of a potential end to his F1 involvement, but remains as motivated as ever to continue delivering in the championship.

In fact, speaking earlier this year, he said that the only time he had ever considered stepping back was in 2014 when Red Bull was living through a huge disadvantage with its power unit.

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“I joined Red Bull [to build a technical team],” he said. “It was a bit of a career risk, but I wanted to again be involved with the development of the team at the start.

“So, having been involved in the start and been involved with Christian and Helmut [Marko] in how we developed the team, then why would I want to walk away from that?

“The only time it came close was in 2014 and that was for completely different reasonings. It was very simply at that time we had a power unit which wasn’t performing, which happens of course. And there didn’t seem to be a huge desire from the manufacturer [Renault] at the very top level to put the investment in to turn that around.

“So, you’re then in a bit of a depressing position where, as we all know, to win championships you’ve got to have the three key factors of driver, chassis and engine – and if one of those is weak you won’t win…”

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