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Adrian Newey set for talks with Red Bull over F1 future after exit reports
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Adrian Newey set for talks with Red Bull over F1 future after exit reports

Adrian Newey is set to begin talks with Red Bull’s management to resolve his future with the team after reports he has expressed a desire to leave.

The Guardian understands that Red Bull’s chief technical officer is yet to formally tender his resignation or announce to staff that he will be leaving and insiders say the headlines caught Newey and the team by surprise on Thursday.

The 65-year-old has made no comment and Red Bull have stated only that he is under contract with the team until the end of 2025 and they are unaware he is joining any other team.

Newey, the most successful Formula One car designer of the modern era, has reportedly stated he wished to draw his time with the team to a close after almost 20 years, having joined them in 2006. He is said to have been dissatisfied with his role in the team and to have been disquieted by the furore that has engulfed them since the team principal, Christian Horner, was accused of inappropriate behaviour by a female employee.

The grievances against Horner, who has always denied any wrongdoing, were dismissed by an independent inquiry but the complainant has appealed. The case is considered to be part of a wider battle for control at Red Bull, in which the leaks relating to Newey may also play a part as a further attempt to destabilise Horner.

If Newey were to leave it would be a serious blow for Red Bull, for whom his cars have helped secure seven drivers’ titles and six constructors’ championships. It would potentially cause the world champion, Max Verstappen, to further consider his future with them, which is already under question.

Ferrari, Aston Martin and Mercedes would all be strong contenders for Newey should he leave but as Red Bull have stated he is contracted with them until 2025. If there were gardening leave clauses in that contract, as is the norm, he could be prevented from starting with another team until 2027 and unable to influence the design of a car from scratch until the 2028 model, two years after the new regulations come into play.

Meanwhile in the buildup to next week’s Miami GP, the British driver Oliver Bearman’s chances of entering F1 next season were enhanced when the Sauber team announced they have signed Nico Hülkenberg from Haas, freeing up a seat. Bearman is a Ferrari junior and the reserve driver at Haas, who have a technical relationship with the Scuderia and who would be looking to place him with the team for experience.

Bearman was stood in for Carlos Sainz at the Saudi Arabian GP this year. Making his F1 debut as the youngest British driver at 18, he finished seventh having driven the car for the first time in practice at Jeddah.

Source: theguardian.com