Steiner’s Reaction to Newey’s Exit Clause

Guenther Steiner has conveyed his astonishment at the possibility of Adrian Newey joining a new Formula 1 team starting in 2025.

Last week, it was officially announced that Adrian Newey, the longstanding Chief Technical Officer at Red Bull, would depart from the team at the conclusion of the 2024 season, marking the end of his remarkable 19-year tenure.

Speculation has been rife regarding Newey’s next destination, with Ferrari expressing longstanding admiration for the British designer and Aston Martin reportedly making a substantial offer to secure the services of the most accomplished F1 designer in history.

As part of his release from his Red Bull contract, Newey will have the option to join a new team starting in April 2025.

Given that the 2025 cars are anticipated to bear significant resemblance to their 2024 counterparts, with considerable carry-over expected before the chassis and engine regulations undergo substantial changes for the 2026 season, Newey could potentially oversee the development of a car for the 2026 campaign.

This prospect has left Steiner puzzled.

“What surprised me is that he can go and work for another team already next year, I think we are all surprised by that one,” Steiner exclusively remarked in Miami, where he was serving as an ambassador for the race.

“Red Bull will have a good 2025 car with or without Adrian. Will he change a car in 2025 if he joins a team in ’25? No. But it is 2026, that is what I always see in F1. 

“The short-term, that is what I always see in F1, it is very clearly written down what is happening and in the medium to long-term, it is about who will be at which place in two or three years.

“That is what is needed now in Formula 1, with your investments and your people because everything is so long-term.”

Ferrari has pursued the expertise of Newey for a considerable period, with their most recent attempt dating back to 2014, coinciding with the onset of the turbo hybrid era. This pursuit occurred during a time when Newey was disenchanted with Formula 1 due to the underperformance of the Renault power unit.

It is understood that Newey may be hesitant to relocate to Italy permanently if he decides to join Ferrari. Guenther Steiner drew parallels between Newey’s impending departure from Red Bull and Lewis Hamilton’s confirmed move to Scuderia Ferrari for the 2025 season.

“It is a little bit like the Lewis thing, that did surprise me, but am I shocked? No,” he remarked.

“Adrian was there a long time, and it is just one of things with all the stuff which happened at the beginning of the year – I don’t know the details of it and maybe there some friction there. 

“He just decided that: ‘I want to do something else before I retire because he still good,” Steiner continued. “I would think at the moment that he would fit in, but I don’t know in which role.

“I don’t know if he wants to work the whole year, or just giving concept idea and stuff like this, but I think Fred [Vasseur, Ferrari Team Principal], would make it work that he fits in there.

“And then obviously working with Lewis, it would be quite a cool thing to do for both of them.”