Sneaky Ferrari Almost Took Red Bull’s “Disillusioned” Mastermind Responsible for Max Verstappen’s Resounding Success Away in 2014

Published 12/29/2022, 8:00 AM EST

In 2022 even team principals and CEOs switched outfits beside drivers, in a chaotic turn of events during the F1 silly season. Though in these multiple changes, Red Bull has been the one team that is relatively stable. A solid driver in Max Verstappen, a firm leader in Christian Horner, and one of the biggest aero geniuses in Adrian Newey. This trio might have regained the team’s glory days, but they weren’t as solid and stable back in the day. Especially Adrian Newey, who was on the radar of Ferrari.

Adrian Newey had been hugely successful with three different teams in developing championship-winning cars. Thus, Ferrari was looking to be the 4th team to add to his glorious CV and sneakily might have made him an offer.

In an interview with The Race, Newey explained how he almost signed up to go to Maranello in 2014. He stated, “Back then I was pretty disillusioned with the whole thing to be honest in as much as … obviously I nearly joined Ferrari but didn’t, which was kind of [part of it]… but more than anything,”

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The British mastermind explained the reason behind his thoughts to switch teams, “The only thing that had pushed me towards even thinking about moving teams was that we [Red Bull] were stuck with an uncompetitive [Renault] engine.”

Today, Newey and Red Bull have managed to break their dry spell in the Hybrid era. Even though Adrian has been a pivotal part of Verstappen’s recent success, the scene could have been so different if Ferrari somehow managed to get him onboard.

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Newey has always been a maestro of new regulations. Be it his years with Williams, McLaren, and now Red Bull, he has always delivered sleek, elegant but powerful machinery that tasted glory.

Was Adrian Newey the Key for Ferrari to end their drought?

If Ferrari looked closely at the profile history of Adrian Newey, they should have known how he pulled off every challenge in his way. Ever since his designed cars hit the tracks in the last 90s with Williams; Newey has not failed to taste the champagne of success.

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Adrian’s first hugely successful car was the Williams FW14B. A car so dominating with several innovations, the FIA has to step in to ban several of Newey’s masterful tech. Despite that, the car helped Nigel Mansell sweep the 1992 season in dominating fashion.

After that, his 1998 and 1999 cars at McLaren were the class of the field. Elegant, fast, and versatile; the MP4/13 and 14 were the bedrock on which Mika Hakkinen managed to hold off Ferrari and Michael Schumacher.

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And in the 2010s, Newey’s aero designs for the RBR cars blew the field to shreds. In the hands of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, he had given a sleek beast with the grunting power of the Renault V8. 4 successive championships might have been the big signal for the Scuderia to poach Red Bull’s mastermind.

It might have been a tough job for Ferrari to recruit Newey. Though, if they would have been successful, the returns of their investment in Adrian’s genius may have paid off. Given the Red Bull CTO’s track record, he could have helped Ferrari get at least one championship.

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WATCH THIS STORY: Ferrari loses Mattia Binotto after a troublesome 2022 season

Still, it is a hugely difficult scenario to imagine Adrian Newey designing for the Prancing Horses. But, Red Bull would never want this scenario to turn true even in their nightmares. What do you think? Could Newey have helped Ferrari end their championship drought?

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Aishwary Gaonkar

426 articles

Aishwary Gaonkar is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. Having completed his postgrad, he has set out to venture into the world of Sports Journalism. He is an ardent fan of F1 and has been following the most prestigious form of motor racing for over a decade now.

Edited By: Varunkumaar Chelladurai

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