Marko: Lauda made a direct offer to Newey

Niki Lauda talks, Helmut Marko listens

Niki Lauda talks, Helmut Marko listens

Ferrari is reportedly not the only team prepared to pay big money to lure Formula 1 design guru Adrian Newey away from Red Bull.

In Monaco, Ferrari team boss Marco Mattiacci denied reports claiming that he had offered Newey  millions of dollars if the highly-respected engineer moved to Maranello.

But the reports were strong enough that Red Bull issued a media statement quoting Newey as saying: “I remain committed to Red Bull for the foreseeable future.”

The fact that Red Bull did not single out Ferrari’s reported interest in the statement could be because it was not the 55-year-old’s only offer.

Adrian Newey with Niki Lauda in 2003

Adrian Newey with Niki Lauda in 2003

Helmut Marko is quoted by Kleine Zeitung newspaper as revealing that some rival teams are offering to pay “about double” in order to attract Red Bull staff.

“And we pay our people quite decently,” he said.

Newey is the obvious main target. Marko told the newspaper that the Briton received an offer from the mouth of Mercedes Team Chairman Niki Lauda. And it was not the first time the triple F1 world champion approached Newey, as in early 2000 he tried to lure him to Jaguar.

The Kleine Zeitung report added: “Marko said that Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo went to Barcelona two weeks earlier to present his offer, [but] Newey has decided to stay with us at Red Bull until further notice.” (GMM)