Adrian Newey flattered that Lewis Hamilton wants him at Ferrari

Adrian Newey has admitted he is “flattered” that Lewis Hamilton has called for him to move to Ferrari.

Newey, considered the greatest Formula One technical mastermind of his generation, will be a free agent next year after Red Bull confirmed the 65-year-old is set to end his association with the team.

Hamilton, who is moving to Ferrari next season, said prior to this weekend’s Miami Grand Prix that he would like Newey to make the switch, too.

And speaking for the first time since his departure from Red Bull was confirmed, Newey told Sky Sports: “It’s very kind of Lewis to say that, and I’m very flattered.

“But at the moment it’s just take a little bit of a break and see what happens next.”

Newey, who has played a significant role in 13 drivers’ world championships and a dozen constructors’ titles, is free to join another team when he leaves Red Bull in the first quarter of next year, possibly before the opening round in Australia in March.

Newey’s departure from Red Bull comes in the wake of team principal Christian Horner being accused of “inappropriate behaviour” by a female employee. He was exonerated by Red Bull’s parent company GmbH on the eve of last month’s curtain-raiser in Bahrain and has always denied the claims.

Lewis Hamilton has praised Adrian Newey
Lewis Hamilton has praised Adrian Newey (Rebecca Blackwell/AP)

“Formula One’s all consuming,” added Newey. “I’ve been at it for a long time now. There comes a point, as Forrest Gump said, I’m feeling a little bit tired.

“I have been thinking about if for a little while now if I’m honest. I guess over the winter, and then as events have unfolded this year. I’m in the very lucky position where I don’t need to work to live.

“I work because I enjoy it and I just felt now was a good time to step back, to take a bit of a break and take stock of life.

“Maybe at some point, I don’t know when, I’ll be standing in the shower and I’ll say, right, this is going to be the next adventure. But right now there is no plan.”

Max Verstappen speaks to reporters in Miami
Max Verstappen speaks to reporters in Miami (Wilfredo Lee/AP)

It remains to be seen what effect Newey’s Red Bull exit will have on the team’s superstar driver Max Verstappen. Verstappen, under contract until 2028, said on Thursday that “at the moment, my future is within Red Bull”.

He has previously called for a peaceful environment at Red Bull.

But speaking on Friday, McLaren boss Zak Brown said: “The stuff that’s going on there is a bit destabilising.

“It’s probably the first domino to fall. My guess is that (Newey’s departure) is not the last based on the resumes that are flying around.”