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Horner Dispels Rumors of Unrest Behind Newey’s Red Bull Departure, Plans for Future Unveiled

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Christian Horner dismisses speculation that internal discord prompted Adrian Newey's departure from Red Bull. Here's what Christian Horner had to say about Adrian Newey's exit from Red Bull in detail.

Christian Horner disclosed that Red Bull is proactively preparing for the eventual departure of Adrian Newey from their Formula 1 team, while refuting suggestions that internal discord was the reason for his departure.

Ahead of the Miami Grand Prix this weekend, Red Bull declared that Newey will conclude his 18-year partnership with the team by the first quarter of 2025.

The announcement by the squad followed several days of speculation suggesting that Newey was on the verge of leaving Red Bull.

A hypothesis suggested was that Newey had experienced a fallout with Horner, leading to the design expert becoming increasingly agitated with the non-racing related controversies surrounding Red Bull.

Horner has dismissed this assertion, pointing out that Newey had thought about departing from the team a year earlier, indicating that Red Bull had already prepared a backup strategy.

In a conversation with Sky in Miami, Horner refuted claims that off-track disturbances were the reason behind Newey's departure.

"Definitely not. This situation has been developing for a while," he stated. "There were conversations a year ago suggesting it might have been the right moment for Adrian to consider stepping down. I'm aware that this has been a consideration for him for a while. It's been an aspect we've needed to prepare for.

"Considering the impressive streak we've maintained in recent seasons and our current performance level, it's an opportune moment for him to transition. He's not exiting the organization but shifting away from F1 duties, at a point when we're truly excelling."

"It's going to be heartbreaking to bid him farewell. He has played a significant role in our team. Watching him leave will be a sorrowful moment for us. Nonetheless, as with all things, life must continue."

What aspects of Newey's contribution will Horner look back on fondly?

Newey has been a pivotal figure in Red Bull's achievements throughout their history.

In the early 2010s, Red Bull was at the forefront of Formula 1 racing with Sebastian Vettel, and then surged ahead of their competitors in 2022, paving the way for Max Verstappen's series of championships.

Horner acknowledged that he would feel nostalgic for the sense of fellowship he shared with Newey in the pit lane.

"He has had an impressive career," he continued. "For three decades, he's put in the effort. Spending seven years at Williams, another seven with McLaren, and close to two decades with our team.

"In conversation, he's expressed that the team is currently excelling and operating at a peak performance level. He believes this is the opportune moment for him to step back and take some time off. Although he'll continue to contribute to the development of the RB17, our track-focused car, he's decided that this is the moment for a hiatus."

"He's an outstanding engineer. He's constantly seeking that extra edge in performance. He provokes thought and extends the limits. But above all, the sense of fellowship we've built will be what I miss the most. We've experienced many ups and downs together over the past 18 years. He's been my companion on the pit wall all along."

"The tally stands at 117 wins alongside numerous global titles. Of course, there have been some down moments. The sense of fellowship will definitely be what I miss the most."

Horner is not worried that Newey's departure will lead to a widespread departure of staff.

He clarified, "We have established the essential foundations for what lies ahead. The technical staff have secured long-term agreements. This is a moment we have anticipated and prepared for, knowing it was inevitable."

"I believe the framework we've established, with Adrian's significant input in shaping and refining it into its current form, is perfectly poised to carry forward the legacy and keep delivering outstanding vehicles as we've been doing."

Horner's opinion on what Newey will do next

As Newey becomes available for hire in 2025, what happens next remains uncertain.

Newey is strongly rumored to be considering a move to Ferrari, though Aston Martin and Williams are also keen on acquiring his services.

"Horner mentioned, "I believe he'll initially take a break. At 65 years old, he's certainly earned the privilege to relax a bit, enjoy moments with his wife and family."

"He's really eager to take on the challenge. Should he choose to give Formula 1 another shot, it's anybody's guess what could happen. Interestingly, despite Adrian's well-known disdain for any changes in regulations, the 2026 season presents a distinctive scenario with modifications to both the chassis and engine regulations.

"Today's landscape has significantly changed due to the implementation of budget limits and constraints on resources."

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