Horner denies rumours Adrian Newey could leave Red Bull as his contract comes to an end

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Adrian Newey, chief technical officer for Red Bull Racing’s contract is up for renewal at the end of the 2023 season, leading to widespread rumours he will leave the team with which he has won 5 constructors’ championships

Christian Horner
Photo credit: RedBullRacing.com

“He’ll be here for many years to come.”

Chief technical officer of Red Bull Racing Adrian Newey will see his contract up for renewal at the end of the season. With his contract term coming to an end, many have suggested the well accomplished engineer will depart from Red Bull following this season.

While this would present a huge blow to the team who have won 5 constructors’ championships and 6 drivers’ championships in Newey designed cars, team principal Christian Horner has denied any rumours that Newey will part with the team.

“His heart is still very much in Formula 1 and his commitment to the team is, it’s not something…” Horner said, speaking with Sky Sports News.

“We don’t talk about contracts or longevity of contracts, but he’ll be here for many years to come. There’s always going to be rumours in this paddock, that’s Formula 1.”

“He’s such an important part of our team…”

Horner was quick to acknowledge Newey’s skill, with the 64 year old having designed championship winning cars for both Williams and McLaren prior to joining the Red Bull project early on. Horner celebrated Newey as not only a key figure within the team, but also a popular team member.

“He’s such an important part of our team and popular part of our team.” Horner said. “It’s great to have him with us for the long term, but also to be involved in some of the things we’re now getting involved in.

“His passion is just driving and racing…”

While discussing the team’s future, Horner also commented on Verstappen’s future in the sport, noting that the two time champion is unlikely to race late into his career like Fernando Alonso. Verstappen himself has noted he is unlikely to compete in Formula 1 after the conclusion of his current contract, which is due to expire following the 2028 season.

“Max is his own man and he’s very, very strong in his opinions and on his outlook on what he wants to do in his life,” he commented. “And I don’t see him being a Fernando Alonso and still racing at 41 or 42 years of age, or maybe not in Formula 1, but what his love and passion is, is racing.

“If he’s not racing on track at the moment, he’s racing in the virtual world, he’s driving GT cars for fun, and his passion is just driving and racing, and while that burns within him, he’s going to keep going.

“But how long that burns for, that’s each individual’s own journey, they’ve got to find that out for themselves.”

“It is a brutal calendar…”

A deciding factor on Verstappen’s longevity in the sport may be the ever growing annual Formula 1 calendar, with Verstappen himself commenting that the current 23 race seasons are too long. With suggestions of an expansion to 25 races per year, Verstappen may choose to walk away from the sport sooner than expected.

Horner agrees with his driver in this regard, commenting that the current season length is “brutal” both on drivers as well as other team staff.

“23 races is a brutal calendar and it’s tough,” he said. “It’s tough for the drivers, it’s tougher for the mechanics that are travelling at the beginning of the week and returning on a Monday after an event.

“It is a brutal calendar and it does take its toll at some point.”