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Horner reveals Red Bull star almost left team for 'Hollywood lifestyle'

Horner reveals Red Bull star almost left team for 'Hollywood lifestyle'

Horner reveals Red Bull star almost left team for 'Hollywood lifestyle'

Horner reveals Red Bull star almost left team for 'Hollywood lifestyle'

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has revealed that key figure Adrian Newey nearly departed the team after Ferrari enticed him with the promise of the "Hollywood lifestyle."

As the team's chief technical officer, Newey played a pivotal role in Red Bull's resurgence, paving the way for the team's dominance and Max Verstappen's three world championships.

However, following regulation changes in the 2014 Formula 1 season, Red Bull faced a challenging period after previously securing four consecutive constructors' championships from 2010 to 2013.

Horner has disclosed that Newey was 'half an hour' from leaving Red Bull during this challenging period, tempted by offers from Ferrari.

“Our engine supplier completely missed the target,” said Horner on the Eff Won with DRS podcast. “At that point, Sebastian Vettel leaves because of the engine.

“Adrian came very close to leaving. He was about half an hour. Ferrari came hard for him and they promised him the world - ‘you can have a Hollywood lifestyle, fly into the factory from Monaco every day, not pay any tax, you can design a road car'.

“I managed to persuade him to stay by saying: ‘We will do a road car, if you want to do a road car then we will do a road car!”

Adrian Newey almost left Red Bull after the 2014 F1 season
Adrian Newey has been monumental in Red Bull's championship fight

READ MORE: FIA boss shares support Red Bull RIVALS in 2024

Newey retirement plans

Newey is no stranger to changing teams, having had tenures at Williams, McLaren, and now Red Bull. The idea of a potential move to Ferrari is not an unusual thought.

Adrian Newey alongside Alain Prost at Williams in 1993

However, Newey has recently addressed his retirement plans, stating that he would only exit the sport when he believes he no longer contributes significantly to the team.

“I think when I was in my early 50s, I thought that by 60 I would go lie on a beach," Newey told the Telegraph. "But the reality is I’d get bored. I know I would. I remember Mario Andretti, for whom I race-engineered when he was 47 and still so competitive.

"Later on he started having some accidents and it was clear his competitiveness was decreasing. I bumped into him a few years later and he said ‘Look I know I’m not as sharp as I used to be. But as long as people are silly enough to give me a drive, I’ll keep driving until I stop enjoying it.’ I think that’s a good way of looking at things.

“If I feel in myself and or if other people say to me ‘Look, your contribution isn’t useful anymore’ then I’ve got to take that on board because the last thing I want to do is to let the team down. But as long as I feel I’m able to contribute… hopefully I’m still contributing now.”

Newey is frequently hailed as one of the best car designers in the history of F1, particularly during his tenure at Red Bull. The prospect of his departure is undoubtedly an unsettling thought for any team.

READ MORE: Ricciardo reacts to retirement questions over 'freak' injury

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