Christian Horner reveals Adrian Newey almost accepted Ferrari’s “Hollywood lifestyle” offer
Christian Horner remembers his conversation to keep Adrian Newey at Red Bull.
Fred Vasseur [L]. Adrian Newey and Christian Horner [R] (images via IMAGO0
Adrian Newey is one of the most talented individuals in the F1 paddock. The aero genius has achieved success with teams such as Williams, McLaren, and Red Bull, including Max Verstappen‘s recent domination. However, there was a time when the 64-year-old almost left Red Bull to join Ferrari. Now, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has revealed how close Newey got to leaving Milton Keynes.
Red Bull fell dramatically in the pecking order in 2014 courtesy of Renault’s severely underperforming Power unit. Subsequently, Adrian Newey was demotivated to work at the Austrian team. This allowed Ferrari to try and poach the aero genius. Christian Horner claimed that it was just a matter of half an hour before the 64-year-old joined Maranello.
Adrian [Newey] came very close to leaving, he was within about half an hour signing [for Ferrari].Christian Horner told the Eff Won Podcast (H&T: PlanetF1)
Horner explained that the Italian giant gave Newey a massive offer. The 64-year-old was offered the life that seemed to be from a Hollywood movie. The Red Bull team boss claimed that Ferrari was willing to give Adrian Newey the option to fly from Monaco to Maranello every day. Notably, the aero genius would also get the chance to design road cars for the legendary carmaker.
They promised him the world. You can have a Hollywood lifestyle, fly into the factory from Monaco every day and you won’t pay any tax and you can design a road car and this, that and the other.
Nevertheless, Christian Horner told Newey that he could design a road car at Red Bull to try and persuade him to stay at Milton Keynes. The 64-year-old agreed to stay, however, this brought another challenge for the Red Bull team boss.
I managed to persuade him to stay by saying: ‘We’ll do a road car. If you want to do a road car, we’ll do a road car.
Christian Horner recalls his conversation with Aston Martin CEO
Initially, Horner had no plan to provide Newey with the opportunity to design a road car. However, the Red Bull team boss headed to talk to then-Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer. Christian Horner told Palmer that Adrian Newey’s expertise with the legacy of the British carmaker could do wonders. This led to the creation of the Aston Martin Valkyrie.
I went to [then-Aston Martin CEO] Andy Palmer and said: ‘Look, we’ve got arguably the best designer of all time, you’ve got two great brands. We’re not going to finance the car but it makes sense to bring these two things together.
Aston Martin and Red Bull even partnered up on the F1 grid. The British carmaker became the title sponsor for the Austrian team in 2018 and remained on board for three seasons. However, this partnership ended after 2020 when Lawrence Stroll acquired a majority stake in Aston Martin. Subsequently, Racing Point was renamed to the Aston Martin F1 team.
Certainly, Adrian Newey has continued to be a major force in F1 with Red Bull. The 64-year-old is the mastermind behind the dominant RB-19 that has won all but one race so far this season. Perhaps the Red Bull aero genius would be looking to develop another road car in the future. Although, Christian Horner would need to find a different carmaker for such a project.
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