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Adrian Newey – F1’s greatest designer and his cars

Adrian Newey - F1's greatest designer and his cars

Adrian Newey has made headlines in Formula One in recent days following the announcement that he will leave Red Bull after almost 20 years in 2025.

The decision opens the door to the possibility of joining a new team ahead of F1’s regulation shake-up in 2026. It’s widely thought the 65-year-old could join Ferrari or Aston Martin after he revealed last year the missing pieces in his career are working with Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton. The pair returned the sentiment, saying it would be a privilege to work with him.

Ferrari have previously tried to coax him to Italy without success, which Newey said was due to the impact on his family, but with Hamilton bound for Ferrari in 2025, and Alonso committing to Aston Martin until 2026, the ideal opportunity may have presented itself.

Newey, who has been in F1 for over 40 years, is widely regarded as the greatest designer in the sport. His career stats boast cars which have won 13 drivers’ championships, and 12 constructors’ championships across three teams. His salary is rumoured to be around £15 million and his unique role at Red Bull has become more hands-off in recent years, dedicating around 50% of his time to F1. As teams begin falling over each other for offers many would agree he’s worth it.

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll labelled him a “unicorn” for the breadth of his skillset. “I think Adrian is a unicorn … he’s very special, maybe exists once,” he said.

His enthusiasm for cars started at an early age. In an interview with Beyond the Grid podcast last year, he said at the age of 11, having learned how to weld, he would use some metal working equipment from his father’s garage — who had an interest in modifying cars — and make 12 scale models. Before long, he became bored with making other people’s designs, so he began sketching his own.

“While, of course, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, the practice of sketching and turning that into a 3D object was great practice from a very young age,” he said.

Newey went on to study a degree in aeronautics and astronautics, and in his early career around 1983, joined March/Leyton House, where he drew sports cars chassis, before he joined Williams in the early 1990s, which was spearheaded by Patrick Head. Together the duo became integral to the team’s success in the era, with the 1992 Williams-Renault FW14B Newey’s first…

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