10 June 2014
Newey: Leaving Red Bull like walking out on your wife
Adrian Newey insists that it is unlikely that he would have left Red Bull Racing, despite high-profile overtures from F1 rival Ferrari.
Adrian Newey has admitted that his long involvement with Red Bull Racing would have made it hard for him to contemplate working with another team in F1.
The Briton, who signed a new deal with RBR at the weekend that allows him greater freedom to pursue other projects and reduces his involvement with the F1 team, had tasted success with both Williams and McLaren before joining the Milton Keynes outfit when not long after it replaced Jaguar on the grid, but has recently been connected to a high-profile move to Ferrari.
The offer to switch to Maranello apparently came from Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo but, after a couple of weeks of Red Bull insisting that its man was under contract, a new deal was announced in Montreal on Sunday and Newey admitted that it would have been hard to leave.
"There has been a lot said about Ferrari,” he noted, "but the bottom line is I've been with Red Bull more or less right from the start, very centrally involved in the team and how it has developed. To walk away from that would feel a little like walking out on your wife."
Newey's interest in sailing has seen him linked to Sir Ben Ainslie's desire to claim the Americas Cup with a British team and, without confirming whether he would be tempted to branch out into another arena, the designer admits that the purpose of his new deal with RBR is to allow him to diversify.
"As I've said, I've come to the stage in my career where I'd quite like to try other challenges, try my hand at different things, whatever they may be,” he confirmed, "It's fresh stimulation, but all these things are transient.”
In a pleasant coincidence, Newey's new deal was celebrated with Red Bull's first victory of the 2014 F1 season, breaking a long run of Mercedes success under the new engine formula.
"It's a fantastic result for the team,” Newey confirmed, "Obviously, in truth, it was a slightly lucky result with Mercedes hitting problems, but the fact is we were there to capitalise on that.
"Considering all the problems we had in pre-season testing, where we barely got to string a lap together before Melbourne, there was the elation of getting second in Melbourne, and [then] having it taken away from us, but through it all the team has kept its head up. Everybody has been working hard back at base and it's meant that, when Mercedes have hit problems, we've been there to take advantage of it."
Asked whether Red Bull could continue to be a force when he takes his step back, Newey quickly pointed out that, not only would he still be there to help advise the team, it had also built up a strong staff under him.
"We've a very good level of talent at Milton Keynes, which we have managed to develop and nurture over the past years,” he concluded, "Hopefully that can continue to build, and as I say, I'll be available if they would like or need advice. Hopefully it can be a reasonably smooth transition."
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