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Newey Joining Red Bull Felt Like Career Suicide

Newey: Joining Red Bull Felt Like Career Suicide

17/05/2024

Adrian Newey discusses his risky move to Red Bull and reflects on his significant role in transforming the team.

Adrian Newey recalled that joining Red Bull in the mid-2000s was not a typical move in Formula 1. He left McLaren F1, where he had just designed the first in a series of winning cars, for a team with a less serious reputation. In contrast, he is now very happy with the current situation.

“Many people thought it was quite suicidal at the time, in late 2005, to move from McLaren, where we had won 10 races, to this new team that, truthfully, had a reputation for being a party team,” Newey remembers.

“Knowing where we were heading, winning the first race and securing a one-two finish with Sebastian [Vettel] and Mark [Webber], then winning the championship in 2010 and everything that followed, leaving all that was a very tough decision to make.”

“It’s a decision I felt had to be made for a variety of reasons. It was difficult because they had been my family, and I feel a bit, not paternal, but with a certain degree of responsibility. However, the team is now very mature.”

“It is well-organized, which gives me the opportunity to step back and consider new challenges, new things, and let the team fly on its own, which I’m sure it can still do.”

Newey managed “the technical, cultural, ethical, and infrastructural aspects…”

Frustrated that his role had been reduced by Christian Horner recently, Newey recalls his internal responsibilities and the teams he worked with. He emphasizes his role in shaping the team’s culture and ethics, and even in developing infrastructure: “I gave three speeches, or whatever you want to call them.”

“One in the engineering room at the Miami circuit, one in the garage, and then we went back to the factory in Milton Keynes. It was quite difficult and very emotional for me because I’ve been with Red Bull since almost the beginning and was centrally involved with Christian in how he developed the team.”

“Christian took care of the overall aspect, while I handled the technical side, the culture, the ethics, the way we do things, the infrastructure, even the layout of the buildings, and so on. I was involved in all of that and took a big risk for my career.”

Newey: Joining Red Bull Felt Like Career Suicide. Newey: Joining Red Bull Felt Like Career Suicide

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