Marko: Ferrari made Newey an absurd offer

Brazilian F1 Grand Prix - Qualifying

Adrian Newey in demand

Red Bull’s outspoken director Helmut Marko has directly contradicted Ferrari’s claim that the Italian team never tried to secure the services of design guru Adrian Newey.

Following weeks of speculation about the hugely-rated engineer, it was confirmed on the day of the Monaco Grand Prix that Briton Newey, 55, is staying at Red Bull.

However, while still advising the Formula 1 team and mentoring its full-time staff, Newey will focus instead on a new Advanced Technologies Centre, reportedly to feature forays such as the new British bid for the America’s Cup.

“Adrian has admitted openly that he is a little tired,” Marko this week told Austrian broadcaster Servus TV. “This is because in Formula 1 there is gradually less and less room for innovation.”

“We do not want to lose him, so we will build this new centre where – alongside his work in Formula 1 – he can also manage multiple projects,” added Marko.

Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Montreal, Canada, Saturday 7 June 2014.

Adrian Newey in Canada

He confirmed that Newey was still working on the design of the RB11, the 2015 Red Bull car.

For Red Bull, keeping Newey as a mere advisor is the best possible outcome, as it keeps the only designer revered in Formula 1 circles as a ‘genius’ out of the clutches of their rivals.

Ferrari, for one, is known to have made an enormous monetary offer – in the dozens of millions – to woo Newey to Maranello.

Ferrari, however, deny it. “As I said in Monte Carlo,” team boss Marco Mattiacci insisted last week, “we never contacted Adrian.”

Marko claimed that is not true, “We have had long conversations with Adrian. Ferrari made him an absurd offer – both on the financial side as well as in terms of his responsibilities.” (GMM)