The future of Adrian Newey

From time to time Adrian Newey goes through phases when he thinks that he might like to stop motor racing and do something else in his life. Generally, this wears off and he returns to doing the thing that he does best – designing successful F1 cars. The signs are that he is currently going through such a phase and this has led to speculation that Red Bull racing may be the destination of Lotus technical director James Allison. Some in the F1 paddock believe this to be the most likely destination. Others still think that the answer is Ferrari. Allison is still not saying. Let us see if Red Bull racing is denying…

61 thoughts on “The future of Adrian Newey

      1. As I’ve commented before, the Americas Cup is a very different kettle of fish (especially in it’s current iteration) to F1, in the same way Neuro-surgery and Cardio Surgery are, and I don’t think Newey would enjoy the same stature / level of control as part of an AC team, and the money is nowhere near. You could run a competetive AC Team on what he’s reputedly paid.

  1. And what about the future of Red Bull racing? With 6 championships in 3 years, they are now getting into “boring” territory a la Ferrari in the early noughties – which hardly fits with the brand image does it?

    1. good point… Joe, any thoughts on who’d be in the market to snap up RBR if/when Red Bull call it a day?

  2. So more rumours and speculation to soon fill the rest of the internet and armchair bloggs.
    Newey to Ferrari.
    Webber to follow, with Vettel replacing him in x years when Alonso retires and Webber goes off racing Porsches.
    Allison and Raikkonen to Red Bull next year…
    And Grosjean to join the FIA as their official as crash tester.

  3. Sitting here and grinning about the thought of all those comment monkeys making assumptions concerning Allisons departure taking them for facts and giving other opinions s**t for it.

    At the time I found Red Bull to be a compelling destination considering the few things i know about Newey, Allison, Vettel, Raikkonen and hr politics at Red Bull – not at least from you Joe. If in the end he ends up elsewhere – so be it. Moving on.

    1. The way the Americas Cup operates is fundamentally different to F1. it tends to operate on 3 – 4 year cycles, and the majority of the rules, the timing, venue and to a large extent the type of yacht the event is sailed in, is determined by the winner of the previous cycle.

      As a result of the inherent instability in the rules of the game, the budgets are much smaller, – the Prada team in the current cycle are probably spending less on an annualised basis than Newey is paid by Red Bull.

      I can imagine that the boats being used in the current cycle of the cup makes the prospect of being involved in very exciting for a designer such as Newey (in spite of the recent, tragic death of Andrew Simpson), however this cycle concludes in September, and it is as likely as not that the current holders (Oracle) will lose the Cup to Team New Zealand, which is likely to lead to significant changes in the type of boat used. Also, Newey will need to leave Red Bull early enough in the next cycle to play a significant role in any team contesting the cup.

  4. AN was talking Americas Cup when I was at McLaren… In fact the MP4-19 was a result of the non-Newey design input… until he was told to drop the boat and get the car sorted and it became the 19B… And won its first race in Belgium. He then went to the Bulls… He does seem to get itchy feet every now and then, and the boats is a big passion for him.

  5. My sources, tenuous as they may be, suggest Newey has had an epiphany and realised that the new engine regs indicate that WEC is motorsportโ€™s future pinnacle and to hell with F1 media glory.

  6. He said in the past that designing an Americas Cup boat was his thing. I think he missed out: they are the F1 equivalents already.

  7. In my role as comment monkey, I’ll reiterate my opinion that both Key and Allison will end up at Red Bull Racing taking Newey’s position. No clue where Newey will end up. With the income he will have amassed though Red Bull bonuses I’m wouldn’t be surprised if he simply retired.

    Final comment monkey opinion, I don’t think Red Bull Racing will be around much longer (not exactly news to other monkeys on this blog). The title sponsorship deal with Infiniti is part of an exit strategy for Red Bull, they will probably stick around as sponsors, but not much more. In my opinion RBR and Caterham are vying to become the next Renault works team.

    I finally subscribed to GP+, it seems only fair given the time Joe gives to this blog. Iโ€™m looking forward to my first magazine around 6 hours after the Canadian GP!

    1. Maybe the total mass of the management at Merc has grown to the point where it’s inherent gravity is now starting to attract engineers, designers etc. plus anyone whose valency bond is weak. Eventually it will either reach critical mass and explode, or collapse to form a black hole. Meanwhile various bodies may be fired at it in order to see what/who is emitted. A Feynman diagram may be the easiest way of predicting the outcome! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. I can remember a few years ago he said that he would like to do something with yacht racing.
    He has also said he isn’t a fan of the current restricted regulations, so with the changes coming in 2014 he might have lost some motivation.
    Some believe his current contract runs untill either 2014 or 2015, but we all know the deal with contracts and F1…

    PS. Might Bob Bell be the answer where Allison is going? They worked together at Benneton, Renault F1 and Bob Bell working at Mercedes now….
    I see Mercedes doing a similar thing to what Ferrrari did in the Brawn years by hiring lots of ‘big names’.
    Just guessing ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Was listening to the Motorsport Magazine podcast last weekend and Martin Brundle was adamant that Allison was off to Ferrari – again.

  10. Joe,

    personally I am skeptical that Newey could play a role within an Americas Cup (something that’s been mentioned a few times) that would be significant enough to appeal to him; however Red Bull are the Sponsors of the new Support Series that has been kicked off in this Cup cycle, ‘The Youth Americas Cup’, so you never know……

  11. Would he contemplate a full circle return to Williams and help Claire make them great once more (in return for the slice of the team that Frank/Patrick denied him)?

    Or the lure of Ferrari… though I understand he doesn’t want to leave the UK?

    1. Surely full circle (in F1 terms) would be a triumphant return of Fittipaldi Automotive to the World Championship! The time is right for another Brazilian team in F1…:)

      1. Having just read my stashed copy of “Four Men and a Telephone” I’d quite like to see Newey use some of his stashed cash to resurrect March. On the other hand he might feel compelled to bring back his Bicster-era mustache as well, so perhaps best let sleeping dogs lie…

  12. I would love to see Adrian go to one of the lower teams and design them into the upper echelons. I suppose it could be argued he did that back in the day with Williams to an extent. I suspect he earns rock star wages these days so would be beyond their budgets anyway

    1. No – Williams was a front-running team in the late eighties before Newey arrived- Judd-powered 1988 aside. And he wasn’t the sole bod responsible for the remarkable FW14-15 line of Williams cars, either.

    2. Been there, done that. He joined an underachieving team called Red Bull racing. I wonder whatever happened to them? ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. If … and I repeat .. if Mr Newey decides to take a break …. well … after all the man’s accomplished …. so be it …. he’s more than earned it . If !

    But the America’s Cup as a possible destination for Adrian ? Don’t place any bets on it . In fact … with all thats going on there lately ( all bad ) don’t even place any bets on the America’s Cup continuing on …. unless of course Mr Ellison is shown the door ( y’all think Bernie’s bad ? )

    And as far as Mr Allison’s destination ? I’ll bet he goes …… wherever he finds the right contract that suits him ( sarcasm intended )

  14. How much does a chief designer actually add to a “design team”? Surely its the collection of minions that add the actual value post organizing the structure of the team.

    1. Speaking as an “ex-minion” ๐Ÿ™‚ Adrian adds a huge amount. The rest of the team (particularly the aerodynamics team) function to provide him with information and data, and to turn his drawings into 3d components.

      Other TD’s/CTO’s/Chief Designers do it differently. So if there were to be a change of CTO at RBR, then I guess the wayy of working would change, as it did at McLaren at the end of 2005.

  15. Straight from the Bull’s mouth…

    1. Well, I’m sure that’s 100% true. Don’t Red Bull have a holding company that owns both RBR and Toro Rosso from the days when they were looking to share chassis? If Allison were employed by them then this statement would be absolutely accurate! I love F1.

  16. >Let us see if Red Bull racing is denying…

    I guess this answers that, Joe:

    (doesn’t mean it’s true, of course, but would seem odd to bother to deny it if it’s not)

      1. So is he joining the subsidiary Red Bull Technologies or whatever they call it ? Then technically they would be telling the truth …

      2. maybe they are going to change the name to renault red bull racing . and he is going there

  17. In the way Joe has now got my mind working, perhaps Red Bull will be called something other than “Infiniti Red Bull Racing” next year, so this denial is perfectly true……..
    Joe, you’ve made me so sceptical!!

  18. Is there a Mrs Newey? If so, maybe she’s paying Allison to follow Mr Newey around and keep him away from the boats?

    Or maybe Allison has run off with Mrs Newey into the sunset… where they’ll jointly run an America’s Cup team…

    Or maybe Mark Webber has compromising photos of Mr Allison, and his price is that Allison follow him to whichever team he goes to… and since Mark hasn’t got that decided yet, well, of course nobody knows where he’s going…

    This reminds me of trying to sort out the Abbey Road cover… “28 IF”, etc…

    1. Yes there is a Mrs Newey (the press have inidcated she is the 2nd Mrs Newey).

      The current Mrs Newey is (reportedly) a successful member of the legal profession, so watch what you say, guys! ๐Ÿ˜‰

        1. I think the latest rumour is the Adrian Newey is going to design yachts for Ferrari, James Allison will be joining Red Bull to take over from Mark Webber. Honda will be powering Bernie’s mobility scooter and Pope Gregory IX will be the tyre tester for the FIA.

          Or something like that…

  19. Joe, speaking of America’s cup, here’s an interesting fresh read on how it’s being turned into something of F1 resemblance money wise, albeit the main character in this story is one mr.Ellison, not Allison

  20. Conversely, the 19b was the car that Adrian Newey wanted to build as the 19a but was overruled by Management. (Whippy or J.Neale, depending on which version you hear).

  21. Unless you own the “silver” everyone moves on. It is actually a good thing.
    New people, ideas, and challenges. Look at the life Gordon Murray and John Barnard has had since leaving F1.

    1. Who knows ? the Jag model lineup is getting better and better (horrible rear lights on the XJ aside) – so maybe they might make a better job of it than Ford did

  22. Maybe Adrian will go work for Caterham who are already doing some good work with racing yachts, not sure if he would enjoy working with Mike Gasgoyne though.

  23. Would Renault really need to take on the overheads of the RBR operation? I think not..the french car industry is having a tough time right now. And again, something Christian said to me last year suggests that nothing is going to change in the next couple of years at RBR.

    After that, who knows? Austria is a neighbour of Germany’s after all…

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