Christian Horner under more pressure with top Red Bull Racing designer poised to step down ahead of Miami GP

ADRIAN NEWEY is poised to step down from his role with Red Bull Racing, with an announcement coming before this week’s Miami Grand Prix.

The news will crank up the pressure on boss Christian Horner following allegations from a female employee.

PAAdrian Newey looks set to step down from his role at Red Bull[/caption]

GettyIt comes following the Christian Horner sexting scandal[/caption]

Newey is F1‘s most-successful designer, responsible for designing cars that have won 12 constructors’ titles with three different teams and 13 drivers’ championships.

SunSport understands he will remain with the team until the end of the season before overseeing his hypercar project – the RB17 – produced at Red Bull Racing‘s HQ.

A limited run of 50 RB17s will be made, the 1250bhp hypercar will be produced at a rate of 15 per year with many already sold.

It means he is unlikely to link up with Lewis Hamilton at Ferrari, despite paddock rumours that he could join the Italian team or Silverstone-based Aston Martin.

Newey, 65, has grown disillusioned with life at Red Bull Racing for some time and has previously expressed a desire to walk away.

In 2014 Newey’s deal gave him scope to work on other projects away from F1.

And even last season he was contemplating stepping away from F1 – well before the internal complaint made against Horner – but was lured back with a new contract.

Newey is believed to be at odds with the modern world of F1 and is also understood not to be a fan of the ‘Drive To Survive’ element, which has seen Red Bull and especially Horner, catapulted into the limelight.

He has also become caught up in the turbulence within Red Bull Racing, whipped up within the internal investigation following a complaint of inappropriate behaviour against Horner.

While Newey was not directly involved, he has worked closely with the claimant and has a long-standing friendship with Horner that stretches back to 2005 when he was persuaded to join Red Bull from McLaren.

Horner has denied the allegations and was cleared of wrongdoing after an internal investigation. The complainant, who has subsequently been suspended, has appealed the decision. 

The strain caused by the internal conflict – plus Horner’s comments in an interview where he said Newey’s technical role had changed – have not sat well with the designer.

Horner referred to the “technical team under him [Newey], led by Pierre Wache, is doing a wonderful job so they are not dependent on Adrian” – a comment that has wrangled.

Newey has also watched the team pulled apart by the battle for control between Red Bull’s Austria HQ and the majority shareholder in Thailand.

Who is Adrian Newey

Adrian Newey is the current design chief at Red Bull Racing.

The 65-year-old has played a crucial role in designing the cars that have helped Sebastian Vettel and Max Vertappen win SEVEN drivers’ world championships.

Newey began designing in Formula One back in 1988 with March, where his cars were far more competitive than expected.

After March he spent time with Williams and McLaren before joining Red Bull in 2005.

Throughout his career he has contributed to the cars that have secured 12 World Constructors’ titles and 13 World Drivers’ championships.

He is widely considered to be the greatest designer in the history of F1.

It appears to have all got too much.

News of his stepping down, which could come as early as Thursday, will of course be used as further ammunition to crank up the pressure on Horner.

Max Verstappen‘s father Jos, who claimed his son would be forced to leave the team if Horner remained in charge, is expected to be in Miami this week – his first race since making the threat that his son could walk.

Sources in Germany say that Verstappen’s management team are having talks with Mercedes following this weekend’s Miami Grand Prix.

Wolff has made no secret of the fact he would love to sign Verstappen as Lewis Hamilton‘s replacement.

Verstappen, 26, is under contract at Red Bull until 2028.

But boss Horner has said he will not stand in his way if he wants to quit.

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