Red Bull facing new silly season element
Christian Horner shot down a silly season rumor about Adrian Newey moving on from Red Bull after the 2023 Formula 1 season.
Formula 1 silly season rumors are not uncommon this early in the season, and that has again been true in 2023. But generally speaking, those rumors are related to the driver side.
For example, talks have been heating up about Lewis Hamilton’s future, or lack thereof, with Mercedes since before the lights went out to open up the season in Bahrain, and that will continue until he either signs somewhere or decides to retire. There have even been suggestions that Red Bull could move on from Sergio Perez a year early.
But Red Bull’s dominance, which has seen them win 19 of the last 23 races going back to last year, has introduced a new element into the silly season discussion: car designers.
There have been rumblings about chief technical officer Adrian Newey deciding to move on from Red Bull for a rival Formula 1 team in the near future.
Newey, whose contract is reportedly “up for renewal”, has won world championships in 13 different seasons as a car designer. He is a 23-time champion overall, winning 11 constructor titles and 12 driver titles with three different teams and seven different drivers.
He has been with Red Bull since 2006 and designed the championship-winning RB6, RB7, RB8, and RB9 for Sebastian Vettel from 2010 to 2013.
After a seven-year drought during which Mercedes won every title, both on the constructor side and the driver side, he designed the title-winning RB16B for Max Verstappen in 2021, though the Milton Keynes-based team fell just shy of the constructor title.
To open up a new era of rules and regulations in 2022, one in which many doubted Red Bull’s ability to remain at the front considering the focus they placed on 2021, Newey designed his most successful car of all-time and Red Bull’s first title-winning machinery since 2013. The RB18 won 17 of 22 races, with Verstappen earning an all-time record 15 victories.
To start the 2023 season, Red Bull have looked even more dominant, securing three wins in three races, including two 1-2 finishes.
Team principal Christian Horner recently addressed the rumors to Sky Sports, stating that Newey is still very much committed to the team and that while the team don’t publicize longevity of certain contracts, “he’ll be here for many years to come”.
On the driver side, Verstappen remains under contract through 2028 and Perez remains under contract through 2024.