Is Adrian Newey the real problem at Red Bull?

A former Red Bull driver has expressed concerns about the team’s technical future as suggesting design legend Adrian Newey is too stretched with other projects and not fully committed to Formula 1.

After Singapore, Helmut Marko said a simulator error led to a setup problem that cost Max Verstappen a chance of winning the night race.

Verstappen called the weekend a “wake-up call” and added after finishing third at Marina Bay, “Not good enough. We came here to win and clearly didn’t.

Ahead of the weekend in Singapore, it was announced that Red Bull’s Newey is teaming up with Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne to create a new ‘Extreme E’ team called Veloce Racing.

Newey was revealed as the team’s “lead visionary.”

Dutch pundit Robert Doornbos, who raced for Red Bull for a period in 2006, believes the latest development is alarming news for the energy drinks outfit.

Speaking to Ziggo Sport, Doornbos said of Newey, “The man is a genius. I think he has nine F1 world titles to his name. Basically everything revolves around him but what I hear now is that he is working much less [at Red Bull] – and not committing himself 100 per cent.

“He works on external projects such as the Aston Martin Valkyrie and now a team with Jean-Eric Vergne. I think when an entire organisation revolves around one man and that one man is not always there, you will experience problems.”

Doornbos also hinted that Verstappen could be nervous about Newey’s apparently diminishing role, “Of course we know that Max has little patience. I can only agree with him. He can easily keep up with the other guys around him – it’s only the car that is holding him back.”

Big Question: Is Adrian the real problem at Red Bull?