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MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 04: Adrian Newey, the Chief Technical Officer of Oracle Red Bull Racing inspects the car of Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari on the grid prior to the Sprint ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at Miami International Autodrome on May 04, 2024 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

What next for Adrian Newey? Sailing or Ferrari?

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 04: Adrian Newey, the Chief Technical Officer of Oracle Red Bull Racing inspects the car of Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari on the grid prior to the Sprint ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at Miami International Autodrome on May 04, 2024 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Ever since Adrian Newey announced his shock departure from Red Bull early next year, speculation has abounded for the past month and a half about his future but nothing has been confirmed as yet.

In the wake of his headline-busting announcement, Newey was immediately linked with a mega-bucks deal to join Lewis Hamilton at Maranello and with Charles Leclerc in what would be a Formula 1 Super Team. But that deal has yet to take fruit it seems.

Wealthy and able to do as he pleases, Newey has plans to sail the world in a self-styled yacht should he wish to do so. Perhaps to recharge and contemplate life after Red Bull and make plans for what would likely be the final spell in F1 for the 65-year-old Briton.

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Mark Preston, who worked with Newey at McLaren two decades ago, weighed in on Newey’s future beyond Red Bull amid boundless but unfounded speculation.

Preston joined the McLaren F1 team in 2002 and was later promoted to Head of Vehicle Technology Laboratories where he oversaw the development of the McLaren MP4-18A. On that project, he worked alongside Chief Designer Mike Coughlan and Newey who was the team’s Technical Director at the time.

Ferrari have what it takes to attract Newey

adrian newey ferrari

Sharing his thoughts regarding Newey and Ferrari, with the media team at OLBG, Preston said: “Ferrari have many pieces of the puzzle when it comes to attracting Adrian Newey, they have the best drivers and Lewis Hamilton is obviously a big draw.

“They have a great engine programme, a great team principal and a lot of good engineers, if Adrian and Lewis do link up that would attract the top engineering talent. So Ferrari certainly have all the pieces of the puzzle to pull everything together, it will be fascinating to see how it all plays out.

“Newey has been linked to Ferrari, but where he ends up will be all about the package that they have to offer, the main five areas being the engine, tyres, drivers, resources and the people. You’ve got to have all of those pieces of the puzzle and it will be up to him to figure out all those things, which we can’t always see from the outside,” reckoned Preston.

Newey’s availability has not only piqued the interest of Ferrari. Even Williams, with James Vowles doing the talking, is interested in the sport’s most successful designer whose F1 career decision-making has hardly been conventional.

Preston: Newey thrives in the unknown

Preston: Newey thrives in the unknown Red Bull Racing chief technical officer Adrian Newey buys Oyster sailing yacht

As for Newey’s next move, Preston ventured: “More than one of the top teams have a lot of the pieces of the puzzle which is going to make his next move a very hard decision, there’s probably something else in the background that’ll meet some of the incentives that he’s looking for.

“It’s not a surprise that Adrian wants to try new pastures after leaving Red Bull. He thrives in the unknown, in rule changes. Myself being an engineer, I can see his interest in the small details and that will probably mean that he doesn’t want to stay away from the sport for too long.

“Newey will decide on his future when it comes to having all the pieces of the puzzle, including drivers. If you get the best drivers it’s more motivation and incentive for the best engineers to come and join. That attracts the best people, best race engineers, best sponsors, everything. It’s a snowball effect and drivers are one of the key elements.”

Newey’s departure from red Bull brings an end to one of the great partnerships in F1 history. For two decades his cars won six F1 Construtors’ titles, seven driver titles thus far for Sebastian Vettel (4) and Max Verstappen (3) and is likely to claim a title or two this year too.

How will life be for Red Bull after their great F1 designer departs?

YEONGAM-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - OCTOBER 14: Red Bull Racing Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey wears mechanics goggles to protect his eyes as race winner Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Red Bull Racing sprays champagne on the podium following the Korean Formula One Grand Prix at the Korea International Circuit on October 14, 2012 in Yeongam-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Sebastian Vettel; Adrian Newey

The parting of ways will be felt predicts Preston: “Newey’s decision will have a big impact on Red Bull. When you move into the unknown with rules changes Adrian is a special character when it comes to defining the future of the team he is with.

“But Red Bull do have Max Verstappen and lots of good people with a good programme behind them. They’re working hard in the background to make sure all those pieces are working nicely together. I always say that the package is super important and they’ll be looking into the areas that they are missing to fill those gaps with new people.”

Should Newey decide that Ferrari is his final port of call in F1, he will unite with the sport’s most successful in Sir Lewis Hamilton. Of such a scenario happening, Preston said: “When you talk about Ferrari being iconic, I have kept a refusal letter I received from them from 25 years ago just because it has a Ferrari letterhead.

“Everyone loves Ferrari and it looks like Hamilton’s move could be incredibly well timed with the rules changes that are coming,” concluded Preston, pointing out that periods of new F1 regulations have always played into Newey’s hands.

Big Question: What next for Adrian Newey: Sailing or Ferrari?