‘We remain friends’ - Christian Horner insists he’s not behind Adrian Newey exit

Christian Horner says he and Adrian Newey remain on good terms despite the latter's decision to quit Red Bull.

Adrian Newey and Christian Horner at the Miami Grand Prix
Adrian Newey and Christian Horner at the Miami Grand Prix

Christian Horner insists he is not the reason for Adrian Newey’s departure from the Red Bull F1 team.

Newey, regarded as F1’s greatest-ever designer, will leave his position as Red Bull chief technical officer in early 2025 after nearly two decades at the team.

The 65-year-old, with the help of close friend and manager Eddie Jordan, was able to successfully negotiate an early release from his Red Bull contract.

Newey is believed to have become disillusioned amid turmoil within the Red Bull camp after allegations of sexual harassment and coercive, controlling behaviour were made against team principal Horner by a female colleague.

Horner has always denied the claims and was cleared of wrongdoing by an internal investigation carried out by Red Bull.

However, Horner has stressed that the controversy around him had nothing to do with Newey’s decision to leave.

"I've spoken to Adrian at length about it and Adrian's position is very clear,” Horner said.

“We have enjoyed a great relationship, and we continue to enjoy a great relationship. We are friends as well as work colleagues and he's done a huge amount for this team.

"We will be sad to see him leave but he's left the team in good shape and we've got a great team of people and strength and depth to take us forward."

Adrian Newey (GBR) Red Bull Racing Chief Technical Officer on the grid. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 6, Miami Grand
Adrian Newey (GBR) Red Bull Racing Chief Technical Officer on the grid…

Horner added: "I think if you speak with Adrian and look at the statements that he's put out, Adrian's decided that the timing for him is now, after pretty much 35 years with the team, and the strength and the engineering depth that we have, to step away.

"We knew that the time was coming and we've built a structure in place to be able to pick up the baton and carry on with it. That's something that's been put in place over the last five or six years.”

Newey appeared to allude to the scandal surrounding Horner in an interview with Sky Sports F1 at the Miami Grand Prix, saying: “I guess (I was thinking about it) over the winter a little bit, and then as events have unfolded this year I thought… I’m in a very lucky position where I don’t need to work to live. I work because I enjoy it.

“I just felt that now was a good time to step back and take a bit of a break and take stock of life, and go travelling a bit.”

But Horner insists the pair remain on good terms.

"I think we've enjoyed some great moments on and off track, it's been a wonderful journey with Adrian," Horner said. “He’s a friend, he's the godfather to my children and we remain friends."

Newey has been heavily linked with a switch to Ferrari, where he would link up with seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton

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