Adrian Newey, Red Bull‘s chief technical officer since 2006, disclosed that he had thrice rebuffed opportunities to join Ferrari. Now, the technical mastermind behind the 2023 constructors’ championship title for Red Bull reveals that he carries emotional regrets on not taking up Ferrari‘s offers.
Notably, Newey lamented not having worked with the Scuderia Ferrari team. Also, he expressed his regret over missed opportunities to design racing cars for Formula 1 champions Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton, of Mercedes, in his recent appearance on F1‘s Beyond The Grid podcast.
In the podcast, Newey reflected on the instances when Ferrari expressed interest in his expertise. “In my IndyCar days, which probably doesn’t count, then ’93 and famously in 2014. The ’93 one was very tempting”, revealed Newey. During that period, he recalled the then-team boss Jean Todt deliberating the decision to hire Michael Schumacher.
The decision for Newey to decline Ferrari‘s proposition followed the dissolution of his former marriage. This required him to divide his time between England and his commitments for March in the United States.
Upon being queried by podcast host Tom Clarkson on his standpoint about Ferrari‘s unconventional approach with designer John Barnard, the Red Bull executive retorted, “I never asked the question and I don’t believe it. If you’re going to do it, Ferrari is an Italian team.” He disagreed with the idea of situating a research and design centre in a location remote to the race team.
Newey then took the audience back to 2014 when Ferrari‘s proposal slipped in at the start of F1‘s adoption of the 1.6-litre turbo hybrid technology. He was gratified with Red Bull, but the stubborn stance of their engine supplier Renault towards the new rule, made him contemplate quitting. “[Renault] hadn’t produced a competitive turbo hybrid engine. We all make mistakes….But we went to see Carlos Ghosn [disgraced former Renault CEO], Christian [Horner], Helmut [Marko] and myself to try to put pressure on him to up the budget,” shared Newey. In response, Ghosn expressed his disinterest in Formula 1, saying he only participated due to his marketing team’s advice.
With a ponderous tone, Newey admitted his emotional pangs on not joining Ferrari and a desire to have worked with F1 champions Hamilton and Alonso. Nevertheless, he acknowledged that these epic combinations did not materialize due to mere circumstances.