Huge blow for Max Verstappen as Red Bull warned their biggest asset could team up with Lewis Hamilton
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Red Bull have been warned that they could lose their biggest asset to Mercedes in what would be a huge blow to Max Verstappen.
In recent years, the team and Verstappen’s success have been shaped by chief technical officer Adrian Newey.
Within the Formula 1 paddock, Newey is widely regarded as one of the best car designers in the sport’s history.
Before joining Red Bull in 2006, Newey was heavily involved in the designs of title-winning cars at Williams and McLaren.
The Brit was instrumental in Sebestian Vettel’s four F1 titles and has had a similar role in helping Verstappen win back-to-back championships.
However, former F1 driver Damon Hill has warned that Newey could be tempted by a move to Mercedes where he will work with the likes of Lewis Hamilton, George Russell and Toto Wolff.
He told the F1 Nation podcast: “His success rate is unbelievable, every team he’s been to virtually he’s won a Constructors’ Championship, drivers’ titles, I’ve lost count how many, so he’s a key man and what he has to offer any team is invaluable.”
Hill went on to speak about the incident where Newey was spotted looking at the Mercedes car in Bahrain.
He continued: “I can’t help ignoring this thing he did in Bahrain, where he stood in front of the Mercedes on the grid, with his clipboard, and stood there for a long time looking at their front wings. Anybody who knows Adrian will go: ‘Wait a minute, he’s already got the most dominant car in F1, why’s he looking at the Mercedes front wings?’.
“Was he really looking at the front wings? Or was he just standing in front of a Mercedes saying: ‘I’m interested’. Is that what he was really saying?”
🚨 | As per Tom Clarkson Adrian Newey's contract with Red Bull will expire soon. pic.twitter.com/3uYQNnB2LQ— RBR Daily (@RedBullUpdates) March 28, 2023
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner spoke about Newey’s role in the team earlier in the year.
He said: “Over the past few years, Adrian has moved away from day-to-day work in Formula One.
“He now divides his time between cutting-edge technology and the championship. I believe we have the strongest technical staff we've ever had and that allowed Adrian to leave and take over the Valkyrie project.
“We still work with Adrian obviously, but not every day. I think 50 per cent of his time is devoted to Formula One. He's in the office a couple of days a week, but when his help is needed the technical team can always bring him in.”