Adrian Newey had some nervousness jumping to Red Bull back in the day but it was a good decision as Christian Horner having to wrestle to lure him away from McLaren.
Newey has had possibly his greatest season ever. The CTO of Red Bull saw his charge win 77% of the 2022 Grands Prix. Back to back drivers’ titles and first constructors’ championship since 2013 under new regulations. He had success at Williams and McLaren and took a chance in joining Red Bull for 2006 after their takeover in 2005.
Indeed, he took a risk in agreeing terms in November of 2005 as they were only one season into their foundation, not just that but Horner was easily the youngest team principal on the grid and largely inexperienced compared to his fellows. And Newey did have his scepticism but he looked at the larger picture.
“Yes, there was a bit of nervousness on my part,” said Newey. “I’d been lucky enough to work for two great teams, and I’d been fortunate enough to win several races, championships and so forth, but I just felt it was starting to get a bit stale at McLaren. Like Leyton House, it felt like unfinished business that there was a team to be involved in right from the start”.
“Winning championships seemed a very distant dream. Just trying to win races was something that really intrigued me,” summed up Newey. He may have been nervous but it took guts to make the jump and 17 seasons later there has been a litany of success. Horner advises it was the key moment in the ambition of the Milton Keynes outfit.
“I think the general consensus was that Red Bull was there to have a good time with parties, the energy station and a whole vibe,” said Horner. “I think what was missing was a clear technical direction. I’d always been a fan of Adrian Newey and his cars going way back to Leyton House times in the late 1980s, and Adrian was the very best that’s ever been in F1”.
“So it was a question of how we could entice Adrian to join the Red Bull team?,” summed up Horner. In all the signings that the team have made drivers’ wise, they can only do so much with the car at their disposal. Everything after that is a bonus.
Horner concurs that Newey has been a major contributor to their success story. “Hugely,” he said. “Adrian is the only bloke that can see air. He lives in The Matrix, and he’s been the conductor of the technical orchestra for all these years now, but he’s still very hands-on and at his drawing board”.
“I had to argue with Ron Dennis to wrestle him out of McLaren. We’ve obviously had highs and lows during all these years, but it’s always been fun. We’ve always had great support from the group, from Dietrich [Mateschitz] and from Helmut [Marko], and that’s enabled us to just focus on being the best race team that we can be,” summed up Horner.
Here’s Red Bull trio and Sebastian Vettel on multiple topics
Here’s Adrian Newey about RB18
Here’s Sergio Perez on getting first-ever Top 3 result
Here’s Red Bull celebrating at Milton Keynes
Here’s them collecting their trophies
Here’s Christian Horner on Mattia Binotto’s exit
Here’s Max Verstappen on Imola weekend being game changer