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Formula 1 Chinese GP

Red Bull’s F1 rivals facing 2027 wait if they want Newey

Formula 1 design legend Adrian Newey could be blocked from joining rival teams until 2027 unless a deal is reached to release him early, Motorsport.com has learned.

Adrian Newey, Red Bull Racing

It emerged on Thursday that Newey has expressed privately to some members of the Red Bull team about his desire to leave the Milton Keynes-based squad.

Although the outfit remains dominant in F1, it is suggested that Newey has got disillusioned with the fallout of the power battle that erupted earlier this year for control of the squad amid uncertainty over team boss Christian Horner’s future.

However, sources have suggested that the situation is not as clear cut as some believe – and that there has been no formal communication with senior management at the Milton Keynes-based team nor Red Bull’s energy drinks parent company about him leaving his chief technical officer position.

Furthermore, sources have suggested that there has not been any official resignation handed in.

The shock development has inevitably fuelled talk that Newey’s departure could open the door for a move to a big-money rival, with it known that both Ferrari and Aston Martin have been trying to lure the design legend on board.

Both teams would benefit from the input of Newey, as they lay out lofty targets to get to the front of F1.

Ferrari will be bolstered by the arrival of Lewis Hamilton next year, and a Newey switch there would see him work with both the Italian squad and the seven-time world champion for the first time.

However, it is questionable about whether or not Newey would want to go through a major upheaval in his life and move to Maranello – and potentially walk into a situation that could be just as politically complex as Red Bull.

Aston Martin has also been trying to lure Newey, with Motorsport.com revealing recently that owner Lawrence Stroll has personally made an offer to attract him.

Stroll has a super ambitious vision for the Silverstone-based squad, and a move there for Newey would be logistically easier for him – and would see him renew a working relationship with Dan Fallows after the pair worked closely together at Red Bull for several years.

Watch: Adrian Newey Set to Leave Red Bull

But the situation surrounding Newey is incredibly complex, especially when it comes down to his contractual arrangements.

As Red Bull made clear in a statement on Thursday evening, Newey’s current contract, which was signed early last year, currently commits him to working at the team until the end of 2025.

However, it is also understood that there are further contractual non-complete clauses that could prevent him joining one of Red Bull’s rivals for another 12 months beyond that – which would in theory make him unavailable to another squad until 2027.

That delay would minimise Newey’s input until the start of 2028, which is well into the next rules cycle when teams will already have been heavily committed to their next regulation challengers.

By then, Newey would be nearing 70 so would likely be edging towards retirement after a glittering F1 career.

The other potential scenario that could be playing out is that Newey could be looking to step away from F1 completely rather than throwing his all in with another team.

He is known to be excited by other projects, such as Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar, but continuing work on that would require him to remain a part of the Milton Keynes-based operation rather than being outside it.

The only way that Newey could fast-track any move to a rival would be if an agreement was reached between all interested parties – himself, Red Bull and a new team – to buy out the terms of his current contract.

However, such a deal would likely be hugely expensive as Red Bull would be reluctant to let him go cheaply as it could hand an early advantage to a competitor.

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