Why Newey’s new role opens door for Fer­rari

F1 Racing - - INSIDER -

He’s stepped back at Red Bull… so will Fer­rari pounce?

The strength of Red Bull’s long-term com­mit­ment to For­mula 1 has been called into ques­tion af­ter it emerged that Fer­rari had made yet an­other at­tempt at lur­ing de­sign chief Adrian Newey to Maranello.

Red Bull put out a state­ment from the 55-year-old, who is known to be con­tracted to Red Bull un­til 2017, say­ing he was com­mit­ted to re­main­ing with them “for the fore­see­able fu­ture”. Mean­while, team prin­ci­pal Chris­tian Horner in­sisted: “He’s not go­ing any­where.”

But Fer­rari are de­ter­mined to get Newey, and have made it clear that they have a sub­stan­tial slush fund avail­able to at­tract new people – if they are the right people. But it’s not just the money. Could Newey be tempted by the chal­lenge of achiev­ing the one thing in F1 he has not – mak­ing Fer­rari win­ners again? And per­haps af­ter that, the chance to de­sign the ul­ti­mate road car?

Those are the sort of ru­mours cir­cu­lat­ing in F1, along with spec­u­la­tion that Red Bull team boss Chris­tian Horner is ma­noeu­vring into po­si­tion to re­place F1 commercial supremo Bernie Ec­cle­stone as and when he steps down – whether that comes as a re­sult of the on­go­ing bribery trial in Mu­nich or not. Horner has de­nied these sug­ges­tions.

If Newey left Red Bull, what would that mean for a team that has been built around him? Would Di­et­rich Mates­chitz feel it was worth the ef­fort to try to build a com­pletely new team? Ac­cord­ing to his right-hand man in F1, Hel­mut Marko, the an­swer is yes. Marko em­pha­sised that Red Bull “have a long-term com­mit­ment to F1” – which he conrms means at least un­til the end of teams’ cur­rent con­tracts, which run un­til 2020.

Marko added: “We will do what­ever is nec­es­sary. In the be­gin­ning of course the whole team was built around Adrian but he is get­ting older and so on. I think we have now a group of re­ally good people and if Adrian de­cides he won’t be with us or in F1, I think we are pre­pared to take on the chal­lenge. It won’t be easy, but that’s why we are here.”

Red Bull was built around Newey. But could he be seek­ing a new chal­lenge?

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