Newey “not the last” big name to leave Red Bull – Zak Brown

Jaden Diaz

McLaren CEO Zak Brown believes that Red Bull are in a precarious position following Adrian Newey’s departure. Brown says that many personnel from Milton Keynes are looking at joining other F1 teams. The McLaren boss anticipates that losing such a key name will lead to a further loss of Red Bull’s engineering talent.

When the season began, Pandora’s Box was opened at Red Bull. The political battles within the team – largely obscured by the RB19’s dominance – came to the surface. Jos Verstappen’s calls for Christian Horner to leave the team were perhaps the climax of this power struggle.

At least for now, things have stabilised. However, the Austrian team is now embroiled in a highly competitive battle for the Constructor’s title. Unlike last season, victory is not a foregone conclusion.

McLaren and Ferrari have progressed rapidly over the last twelve months. Even just this season, the factories in Maranello and Woking have chipped away at the advantage the RB20 began the campaign with.

ZAK BROWN: Red Bull could lose key staff

Speaking of McLaren, their CEO Zak Brown expects Red Bull to struggle with keeping their best engineers:

“It’s probably the first domino to fall,” he said on the Bloomberg Hot Pursuit podcast.

“My guess is [that Adrian Newey leaving] is not the last, based on the resumes that are flying around. 

Red Bull is a pretty toxic environment with everything that’s been going on. There is more to come. 

Zak Brown, CEO, McLaren Racing, on the pit wall

“Adrian Newey leaving is a big deal. Because I think a lot of people who are there [are there] because they wanted to work alongside Adrian Newey. 

“I already made the comment that there are some CVs flying around, and there are always CVs flying around – but you can see a higher level of discomfort there.”

The process Brown describes was a big problem for Mercedes a few years ago. When one team dominates, rivals dedicate significant financial resources to try and sign their highest-ranking personnel.

Ferrari’s efforts to sign Red Bull Technical Director Pierre Wache, alongside the sustained efforts across the year to sign Adrian Newey, evidence that Christian Horner is facing a similar predicament.

So far, the British team principal has done well in retaining his best minds. However, according to McLaren’s CEO, there is still a risk that senior engineers could be on their way out.

Although this is difficult to verify, Brown’s statements speak to the intense level of competition in F1. Activity away from the track directly impacts performance on it, so teams must work to ensure they do not give anything away.