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F1: Christian Horner insists he remains friends with Adrian Newey despite designer leaving Red Bull

Adrian Newey will leave Red Bull in early 2025 and is already no longer part of the design process of their F1 cars; Newey is understood to be most interested in a future move to Ferrari, where he would work with Lewis Hamilton

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Natalie Pinkham sits down with Adrian Newey to discuss the popularity of his stature after the engineer announced his departure from Red Bull racing in 2025.

Christian Horner insists he is not the reason for Adrian Newey's decision to leave Red Bull and says the pair "remain friends".

Newey's exit comes with Red Bull on a historically dominant streak, with Max Verstappen chasing a fourth successive drivers' title and the team a third successive constructors' title this year.

However, the atmosphere at Red Bull has been clouded by a period of sustained turbulence following the investigation earlier this year by their Austrian parent company into allegations of inappropriate behaviour against Horner by a female colleague.

The grievance against Horner, who has always denied the claims, was dismissed on February 28. The woman who brought the complaint has since appealed against the outcome.

Following the allegations against Horner, a perceived power struggle at Red Bull has been playing out with Horner coming under heavy pressure after his star driver's father, Jos Verstappen, called for the team principal to leave.

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Ted Kravitz tells us all about the 'genius' of Adrian Newey after the news he will be leaving Red Bull.

"I've spoken to Adrian at length about it and Adrian's position is very clear. We have enjoyed a great relationship, and we continue to enjoy a great relationship. We are friends as well as work colleagues and he's done a huge amount for this team," said Horner.

"We will be sad to see him leave but he's left the team in good shape and we've got a great team of people and strength and depth to take us forward."

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Danica Patrick takes a stroll with Max Verstappen around the Miami paddock to discuss his impressive start to the 2024 season and his future aspirations.

Red Bull prepared for Newey exit for last six years

Newey joined Red Bull in 2006, ahead of the team's second F1 campaign, and helped build them into a front-running team from 2009 onwards, when they got their first win.

The team won four consecutive drivers and constructors' titles from 2010 to 2013 and have returned to dominance in recent years since the new ground effect regulations were introduced in 2022.

Pierre Wache been Newey's effective number two at Red Bull since 2018 and is now expected to lead the technical group, which have also been bolstered by aerodynamics designers Craig Skinner and Enrico Balbo, plus head of performance engineering Ben Waterhouse over the years.

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McLaren CEO Zak Brown says he's not surprised Adrian Newey is walking away from Red Bull.

"I think if you speak with Adrian and look at the statements that he's put out, Adrian's decided that the timing for him is now, after pretty much 35 years with the team, and the strength and the engineering depth that we have, to step away," said Horner.

"We knew that the time was coming and we've built a structure in place to be able to pick up the baton and carry on with it. That's something that's been put in place over the last five or six years."

Horner: Newey will decide his own future

The terms of Newey's Red Bull departure in the first quarter of 2025 are understood to not include a period of gardening leave, meaning that he would be free to join another team in time to still have significant influence on their 2026 car when the sport's chassis and engine rules are being dramatically overhauled.

Sky Sports News understands Ferrari have approached Newey, with Aston Martin also making a lucrative offer for the 65-year-old. However, Newey is most interested in joining Ferrari and said in Miami he was "very flattered" by Lewis Hamilton's kind words towards him.

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Sky Sports' Nigel Chiu breaks down what might be next for Adrian Newey, after Red Bull confirmed the exit of their chief technical officer in early 2025.

Horner says Newey has "earned the right to take some time out from F1" and whatever he decides to do in the future is down to the car designer himself.

"Unfortunately, nothing is forever and Adrian was at Williams for seven years, he was at McLaren for seven years and we managed to have him for 18 years, so I think we've enjoyed some great moments on and off track, it's been a wonderful journey with Adrian," Horner added.

"He's a friend, he's the godfather to my children and we remain friends."

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