Adrian Newey recently celebrated his sixth constructors’ world championship with Red Bull. The renowned engineer, now a legend in Formula 1 (also known for his iconic red notebook), shared some behind-the-scenes insights about himself on the F1 Beyond the Grid podcast.
In the past, we know that Newey turned down an offer to work for Scuderia Ferrari. This curiosity had already been revealed by Red Bull’s Technical Director in an interview with Ivan Capelli on Sky. Now, the British engineer has revisited this topic, revealing that he has had three significant regrets in his life that have deeply affected him emotionally.
Ferrari, the first great regret
Adrian Newey told the podcast that Ferrari had attempted to hire him on three different occasions: “During the IndyCar days, which probably don’t count, then in ’93, and, as is now known, in 2014. The offer in ’93 was very tempting.”
During those years, Jean Todt was trying to rebuild the historic Maranello team, and he had approached Newey to seek advice: was it the right decision to sign Michael Schumacher or not? At the time, the engineer turned down Jean Todt’s proposal because he was going through a difficult personal period. He had just gone through a divorce and was dividing his time between England and the United States.
In 2014, Newey was seriously considering reconsidering the offer to work for Ferrari. The discussions with the team, as the engineer recalled, were driven by “frustration. I really didn’t want to leave, but we were in this situation where Renault hadn’t produced a competitive hybrid turbo engine.” Newey explained that on that occasion, he, Christian Horner, and Helmut Marko went to see Carlos Ghosn (former CEO of Renault) to persuade him to increase the budget.
Show your support for Scuderia Ferrari with official merchandise collection! Click here to enter the F1 online Store and shop securely! And also get your F1 tickets for every race with VIP hospitality and unparalleled insider access. Click here for the best offers to support Charles and Carlos from the track!
His response left Adrian Newey very disappointed. Ghosn openly told him that he wasn’t interested in Formula 1: “I’m only in this because my marketing people say I should be.”
The other two regrets
In addition to the great regret of not having joined Ferrari, there are two more: not having had the opportunity to work with two great world champions.
“On an emotional level,” Adrian Newey feels that he missed the opportunity with the Maranello team, even though he specified “up to a certain point.” The Red Bull designer emphasized his regret in not having worked “with Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton,” which “would have been fabulous. But it never happened. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of circumstance; that’s how things go.” – he concluded.