2023-24 Formula 1 Off-Track Thread

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his contract already ends after 2025
Odds are however, he likely looked for a exit clause in the contract that allowed him to exit out earlier (Something that Hamilton did with his Mercedes exit and something I would not at all be shocked at if Verstappen ends up doing)
 
Maybe the engine program isn’t doing very well and he doesn’t want to relive the RBR-Renault hyrbid era.
That's something I've been wondering about lately. Honda's residual influence on RBR's engines is only going to be relevant for a short time longer, and presuming they don't bounce out entirely from all the drama it's looking like Ford's involvement might be more of a rebadging exercise. If they're not already putting a heavy focus on getting that department sorted for 2026, I dunno how well that's going to end for them.
 
So who does he replace? And is Sainz joining and the first question is irrirrelevant?
Well to me if Sargeant is under pressure constantly for his performances then Zhou has to be, I like the guy but Bottas has the measure of him and his performances this season haven't been good enough. I'd be surprised if it was anything other than Hulk and Bottas next season. Bottas is too good to let go, even with the possibility of Sainz. Hulkenberg has already beaten Sainz in team mate head to head at Renault and held his seat ahead of Sainz when Ricciardo came in.
 
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Realistically looking at it:

Ferrari: The only viable option (something I would not have said 3 years ago, but here we are). We've got a no nonsense leader in Vasseur, we all know #blessed is already over there (someone he's expressed interest in working with) and its Ferrari. You're really gonna turn down a rare Second offer from Ferrari (Especially one that isn't run by clowns this time)? And there's the fact that Elkan is very much looking like he very much wants to create the closest thing to the Todt-Brawn-Schumacher era (Something Vettel tried to do, but he didn't quite have the reach or pieces to do so). This is the one team on the grid that has the best of both worlds and is regularly THE closest to Red Bull (With Mclaren sorta trying to squeeze in there), why not fulfill the dream and become THE guy that returns a world title back to Maranello. And should he decide he's done with F1 but not with Ferrari, there's that Hypercar program that isn't too bad either...

Aston Martin: While he does have familiar company in Dan Fallows, I can't imagine he'll thrive at a team who's owner is the only reason one of those drivers has a seat (And am willing to bet doesn't take even constructive criticism of his son too well). For someone who wants the team to compete for wins and championships, Lawrence sure doesn't seem willing to make the sacrifice and I don't think that's ideal for Adrian (Or for Honda, who has already shown they are willing work with Alonso but I guarantee they would prefer a certain RB driver over Lance).

Audi: Both too risky and odds are, Audi already have what THEY want and likely won't give Newey the room and freedom (the thing that drove him away from Williams AND Mclaren, both run by Old men who reek of "My way or the Highway").
I agree that Ferrari are the most likely option. But time at Ferrari can also be a poisoned chalice. If Newey isn't given the freedom he needs and the right people around him, he isn't guranteed success there. Not the end of the world as i'm sure he will be well paid and his legend in the sport is already secure, but you don't want to be (probably) ending your career on a controversial low.

Aston and Audi appointments would also no doubt pay him finely, but with the added bonus of possibly dragging a middling or nowhere team into the sharp end and possibly getting wins. Ferrari are already there or thereabouts so anything other than fighting for titles would be seen as a failure. Aston with Stroll money are already on that trajectory and a Newey appointment added to their recent facility upgrades might just be the final piece of the puzzle. Audi/Sauber are more of an unknown, but maybe its that clean-sheet challenge that Newey finds more interesting at this stage in his career?
 
Realistically looking at it:

Ferrari: The only viable option (something I would not have said 3 years ago, but here we are). We've got a no nonsense leader in Vasseur, we all know #blessed is already over there (someone he's expressed interest in working with) and its Ferrari. You're really gonna turn down a rare Second offer from Ferrari (Especially one that isn't run by clowns this time)? And there's the fact that Elkan is very much looking like he very much wants to create the closest thing to the Todt-Brawn-Schumacher era (Something Vettel tried to do, but he didn't quite have the reach or pieces to do so). This is the one team on the grid that has the best of both worlds and is regularly THE closest to Red Bull (With Mclaren sorta trying to squeeze in there), why not fulfill the dream and become THE guy that returns a world title back to Maranello. And should he decide he's done with F1 but not with Ferrari, there's that Hypercar program that isn't too bad either...

According to the man himself it's actually the even rarer 4th offer:

“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.”
 
I agree that Ferrari are the most likely option. But time at Ferrari can also be a poisoned chalice. If Newey isn't given the freedom he needs and the right people around him, he isn't guranteed success there. Not the end of the world as i'm sure he will be well paid and his legend in the sport is already secure, but you don't want to be (probably) ending your career on a controversial low.

Aston and Audi appointments would also no doubt pay him finely, but with the added bonus of possibly dragging a middling or nowhere team into the sharp end and possibly getting wins. Ferrari are already there or thereabouts so anything other than fighting for titles would be seen as a failure. Aston with Stroll money are already on that trajectory and a Newey appointment added to their recent facility upgrades might just be the final piece of the puzzle. Audi/Sauber are more of an unknown, but maybe its that clean-sheet challenge that Newey finds more interesting at this stage in his career?
I highly doubt Newey would go anywhere where he would potentially be given limited freedom, so if it is Ferrari, I don't think freedom will be an issue.

You're definitely right with the other 2, I guess it just depends on how much time he wants to spend working from effectively ground zero with Audi, which I'm sure would be an exciting prospect but maybe would require too much time and is a real risk for him. Or if he wants to reunite with Fallows at Aston Martin, which is of course a designer/aerodynamicist combo that has had a fair bit of success, 9 world titles or something with both of them at Red Bull? Might very well be that final puzzle piece as you say.
 
I highly doubt Newey would go anywhere where he would potentially be given limited freedom, so if it is Ferrari, I don't think freedom will be an issue.
It's not so much that i think he could be, or would let himself be, contractually restrained from the freedom he'd require to get the job done, but Ferrari hierarchy have that knack of interfering with things because they always think they know best.
 
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Bit brave from Race if this turns out to be not true but the woman at the centre of the investigation is supposed to be Neweys PA. That's the first I've heard of it.
 
If Newey leaves F1 it will definitely level the field again.
Just like in 2000-2004, 2009 and 2014-2021 when his car's were not contenders??

However 2005-2008 were a more closely contested years that his designs were also not contenders... ?

Edit: Also should we rename this thread 2024-25 Off-season thread, or start that one now that this year is going to be just waiting for next year to "fingers crossed hopefully" be an interesting and competitive season at the front ?
 
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No sure what you mean around cars being contenders.
ok, let me try to explain another way...

I don't understand how Newey leaving F1 would make the field more level again.


By the end of the year Red Bull / Newey will have won 8 years, arguably 2010 and 2012 were a level field. (25% level field)

Of the other 17 years this century I count 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008 as level field. (23.5% level field)

If Newey was not involved in 2014-2020 it would not have been a more level field, same goes for 2000-2002, 2004, and the same would be for future years 2025 or 2026 etc ?

Regulation changes in 2026 have potential to level the field, but it is equally (or maybe more) likely that one team will do much better than the rest.

* ok, the 2025 regulations are likely a slight evolution of current rules so Red Bull will likely take that year easily too - If Newey leaves this year it's possible that might hurt red bull next year, but many of the development would be evolution on current so I doubt it would have an impact. Unless changes mean that Red Bull move focus too early to looking at 2026 and they give the rest of the field a chance.
 
ok, let me try to explain another way...

I don't understand how Newey leaving F1 would make the field more level again.

By the end of the year Red Bull / Newey will have won 8 years, arguably 2010 and 2012 were a level field. (25% level field)

Of the other 17 years this century I count 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008 as level field. (23.5% level field)

If Newey was not involved in 2014-2020 it would not have been a more level field, same goes for 2000-2002, 2004, and the same would be for future years 2025 or 2026 etc ?

Regulation changes in 2026 have potential to level the field, but it is equally (or maybe more) likely that one team will do much better than the rest.

* ok, the 2025 regulations are likely a slight evolution of current rules so Red Bull will likely take that year easily too - If Newey leaves this year it's possible that might hurt red bull next year, but many of the development would be evolution on current so I doubt it would have an impact. Unless changes mean that Red Bull move focus too early to looking at 2026 and they give the rest of the field a chance.
Leaving Red Bull yes there's a chance, however slim, of the field catching up. If he goes to Ferrari, there's a chance his expertise can push them forward and/or Red Bull slip back a little. 1 man can't make an overall massive difference but it can influence certain things, boost teams etc. It's hard to quantify Newey vs dominance because so many other factors have impacted being able to say for sure. If Newey wasnt involved 2014-20 for example, Red Bull would simply have been further back, he built a good car but Renault gave them dud engines at a time when Mercedes nailed it. 2009, they were a double diffuser away from starting a 5 year championship run, 2000 was a tight field, Neweys design won nearly half the races that season. The contract issues going on in the background after that until he eventually left Mclaren had a clear impact on his performance. The first Red Bull design he could influence won a race in 2007.

If he does go to Ferrari, 2025 is too soon to expect a difference so it would be 2026 realistically before an impact is made. Given his ability to get cars very right in regulation changes (minus 2009), I'd expect him to boost whoever he joins to narrow thay gap and close the field up. Because realistically it's only the gap to Red bull that needs reigning in.
 
I wonder how much of an influence a designer would have during the season? If the car works well and is fast then there is nothing to be done, but if next years Red Bull is a slow one, and Newey is no longer at the team, then who sorts it out?

Probably answered my own question...
 
I wonder how much of an influence a designer would have during the season? If the car works well and is fast then there is nothing to be done, but if next years Red Bull is a slow one, and Newey is no longer at the team, then who sorts it out?

Probably answered my own question...
Compare the 1997 Williams (a Newey car) with the 1998 Williams (not a Newey car).
Compare the 1997 McLaren (not a Newey car) with the 1998 McLaren (a Newey car).
 
I imagine with how much of a deeper understanding of the Ground effects that Newey has over...pretty much everyone, I think his influence on whoever he goes to (assuming they allow him the same freedom he enjoyed at Red Bull) will be much more instant.
 
.... If he goes to Ferrari.... The first Red Bull design he could influence won a race in 2007.

If he does go to Ferrar....
Er, my posts were responding to a comment that if he left F1 then the field would be closer so I think your post is a little misplaced, or maybe you intended to reply to a different post, or make something new....

Another interesting anecdote is that the last two times Newey cars were winning titles and then were beaten the following years were probably not remembered as a "more level field" - after 1999 there was Ferrari 2000-2004, and after 2013 we had Mercedes 2014-2020?

A shopping list of excuses why Newey influenced cars haven't won more titles is amusing concept.

It's hard to quantify Newey vs dominance
Er, I don't understand this point of view - I don't think Newey has been "saving the sport" from dominance of Ferrari and Mercedes... His goals are the same as all the teams. He aims to dominate and at times his teams have achieved this, other times they are just very competitive or sometimes a little less competitive...

Particularly in the last three seasons many people would say Newey = dominance so the Newey vs dominance comment is illogical.

However, the amount that one person has is very uncertain, how much gardening leave / non-compete clause could be in his contract could also affect how soon he affects another team....

The biggest thing is that the whole thing is making more discussion and speculation in the sport during another dreadfully boring season.
 
Whether he continues with a new team or not, if Adrian Newey does retire and just stops working in F1, he's bloody well earnt it. He's easily in the pantheon of greatest F1 designers/engineers; no matter what you can say about what cars of his didn't work, his body of success speaks for itself.

I'd say in the current "era" of F1, it's him and Aldo Costa at the top but Newey has spanned several F1 generations in a leading role.
 
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I wonder how much of an influence a designer would have during the season? If the car works well and is fast then there is nothing to be done, but if next years Red Bull is a slow one, and Newey is no longer at the team, then who sorts it out?
Next year's car is probably pretty well advanced as far as being designed. It's the year after when they'll be working from a non-Newey clean sheet. Even then, i can't imagine Newey/Redbull haven't already started with a concept for 2026's car.

Newey's influence is without a shadow of a doubt a key issue, but these days he'll have a whole team around him that have a really good understanding of what makes Newey cars so special. That influence will take at least a few years to dilute fully.
 
The engineering supremo will step back from Formula 1 design duties to focus on final development and delivery of Red Bull’s first hypercar, the hugely anticipated RB17. He will remain involved in and committed to this exciting project until its completion.
Prepare for the car to have indefinite delays - you will never escape, Adrian!
 
Some speculation that Newey might move to Ferrari after the polishing of the RB17 with an announcement after the Miami Grand Prix. Though the article's claim is somehow partially based on Newey buying a Yacht...which I don't connect the dots on...
 
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