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Debate

Can Ferrari's Vasseur really lure Newey with the Hamilton card, or is it just wishful thinking?

Fred Vasseur has made it his life’s mission to make Ferrari into a dream team. The Italian became the Team Principal of the oldest and most successful squad in F1 in 2023. He has already made some significant changes in the Scuderia like changing Charles Leclerc’s race engineer. But his biggest contribution to date has been getting Lewis Hamilton to agree to leave a 12-year-long relationship with Mercedes. Now that the 39-year-old will be joining Vasseur’s squad in 2025, the Frenchman has his eyes on aero-engineer Adrian Newey who leaves Red Bull after this season.

At 65, Adrian Newey has seen the rise of three teams, Williams, McLaren, and Red Bull, thanks to his racecars. The car designing wizard has given all the Championship winning machines that earned Sebastian Vettel his 4 F1 titles and Max Verstappen his F1 title hat-trick. Owing to his spotless track record, Fred Vasseur wants Newey in his dream squad. Before the 56-year-old, only one other Frenchman had led Ferrari – Jean Todt.

In an attempt to live up to Todt’s legacy of 14 World Championship wins, Fred Vasseur wants Ferrari to get a Constructors’ title for the first time since 2008. And for that, he is ready to play the Lewis Hamilton card to lure Newey to Ferrari. At a recent interview, Vasseur told the Financial Times his plan for hiring Adrian Newey, explaining, “For us, [Lewis Hamilton’s arrival is] also the best way to attract good people. We have good people at Ferrari, but I want to reinforce.”

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Having already worked with Hamilton during his F3 days, Fred Vasseur knows the 7-time World Champion is an exemplary figure for many F1 officials. He wants Lewis to play as an example for Newey as well to show the Briton that he can move to Italy for Ferrari. So, Vasseur further said, “Most [F1 technicians] are in the UK. If you move from Mercedes in Brackley to Red Bull in Milton Keynes you keep the children at the same school, you keep the same house. Coming to Italy, it’s a different story. The move of Lewis will help us.” Despite the plots Fred Vasseur hatched, there is a chance that Williams has snatched Adrian Newey from under his nose.

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Adrian Newey’s house hunt status proves a possible Williams move

Once Adrian Newey leaves Red Bull, Aston Martin, Ferrari, and Williams are ready to hire the aero-wizard. But no deal with any of the three squads has yet come to light. But AMR boss Lawrence Stroll has reportedly taken the Brit on a private tour of the team’s new Silverstone factory in June. On the other hand, Ferrari is trying to rope in Newey by dangling the opportunity to work with Lewis Hamilton in front of him. Yet, Williams might have sealed the deal already if Newey’s old school friend, Jeremy Clarkson, is to be believed.

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At the British GP, Clarkson paused for a quick grid walk interview where he leaked an important bit of information. The veteran journalist said, “Do you want an exclusive? I know Adrian Newey is house hunting in Oxfordshire, not Maranello.” Now, Oxfordshire is a bustling hub that is common to several F1 teams like Alpine (with headquarters at Enstone), Haas (with their base in Banbury), and Williams (with their offices in Grove). As Alpine and Haas are not in the running to hire Newey, it can be the Grove-based outfit that seems to have finally sealed the deal.

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While Williams looks focused on hiring Newey, the team needs to take care of its driver situation too. In the upcoming season, Logan Sargeant might not retain his contract with the legacy team. In that case, some potential replacements for the American can be Mick Schumacher, Carlos Sainz (since the Spaniard will leave Ferrari this year), and Kimi Antonelli (if Mercedes chooses someone else instead of him). Who, among these three, do you think will fare best at Williams next season? Share in the comments below.