The design maestro behind Red Bull‘s infamous racing machines, Adrian Newey, recently confessed his lingering despondence at never having had a chance to be associated with Ferrari or collaborate with iconic phenoms like Fernando Alonso or Lewis Hamilton. Newey, summarizing his illustrious career, relayed his previous opportunities to work at Ferrari which nevertheless did not materialize.
Since stepping foot in Red Bull in 2006, Newey left a massive imprint by shaping each of the six constructors’ championships seized by the team. The most recent feather in his cap was added with the victory at the Japanese Grand Prix the past week.
Prior to his journey with Red Bull, Newey’s genius brewed championship-winning cars for Williams and McLaren around the 90s, but one notable exception remained: Ferrari. Even though opportunities knocked, Newey never found himself working at the esteemed Italian automaker.
During an interview on F1‘s Beyond the Grid podcast, he was queried about his feelings regarding the absence of a Ferrari stint in his career. Newey confessed, “Emotionally, I guess, to a point, yes,” further commenting, “But just as, for instance, working with Fernando and Lewis would have been fabulous. But it never happened. It’s just circumstance sometimes, that’s the way it is.”
The Red Bull mainstay had multiple chances to step into Ferrari, notably at the dawn of Michael Schumacher‘s dominant epoch in the early 2000s which was orchestrated by then team lead, Jean Todt. Ferrari extended an offer to Newey in 2014 as well, during a phase when both the Italian team as well as Red Bull‘s engine partner Renault lagged significantly behind Mercedes‘ V6 package.
Newey reminisced these instances saying, “Once in my IndyCar days, which probably doesn’t count, then ’93 and famously in 2014. The ’93 one was very tempting.” He further recounted a dialogue with Todt around the hiring of Schumacher during that time.
Despite the enticing prospects, he had personal reservations about relocating to Italy. Newey revealed that the failure of his first marriage was primarily due to his move to IndyCar where he was housed in the States during the season. This took a toll on his matrimonial life and caused irrevocable damage. Applying this learning to his second marriage, he rebuffed the opportunity to move to Italy in 1993.
His dialogues with Ferrari in 2014 he described as being “purely out of frustration” with Renault‘s lackadaisical commitment to F1. Ferrari is also believed to have extended an olive branch to both Newey and Red Bull boss Christian Horner in 2022, but to no avail. Both of them demonstrated negligible interest in parting ways with Red Bull at that time.