The truth behind Aston Martin’s bid for F1 genius Adrian Newey

Aston Martin has officially refuted claims of a staggering offer intended to attract Adrian Newey from Red Bull Racing’s fold amidst the latter’s season fraught with internal discord and public controversies, including the Christian Horner scandal. This period of turmoil has sparked speculation about potential exits from the team, notably involving Dr. Helmut Marko, esteemed F1 designer Newey, and champion driver Max Verstappen.

Christian Horner, speaking to Sky Italia at Suzuka, remains unfazed by the rumours surrounding Verstappen’s future, stating, “We are absolutely calm and confident that Max will stay with us,” and asserting the certainty of Verstappen’s retention beyond 2024 as “100 percent.”

Verstappen himself, while acknowledging Mercedes’ Toto Wolff’s attempts to recruit him, understands the rationale. “I understand why he does it,” he admitted to De Limburger newspaper. “You can’t ignore me. They want me in that car, I understand that.” He further elaborated on the past tension with Mercedes, suggesting a mutual readiness to move past it: “A few years ago there was of course a little more tension between us and Mercedes, but that can all be forgiven and forgotten. That’s true on both sides.” Despite this, Verstappen affirmed his commitment to Red Bull, citing its superior vehicle performance: “But that doesn’t mean I think I should be driving somewhere else right now. Also, Mercedes does not have the fastest car at the moment. That’s the Red Bull.”

The power dynamics within Red Bull continue to simmer beneath the surface, further complicated by revelations about the ‘independent’ lawyer investigating the Horner affair’s connections. When probed about these developments, Marko chose to remain silent: “I stick with my no comment,” he told Osterreich newspaper, directing inquiries about Mercedes’ interest to Wolff.

Speculation about Verstappen potentially bringing Marko along to Mercedes was met with a noncommittal response from Marko, who humorously remarked, “I’m not thinking about that at the moment,” leaving the door open to future possibilities: “But let’s see what the near future brings.”

Amidst swirling paddock rumors of Lawrence Stroll’s astronomical bid for Newey, Aston Martin’s racing team, through Lance Stroll and team principal Mike Krack, has dismissed such claims. Lance Stroll praised Newey’s unparalleled success in F1 at Suzuka, acknowledging his desirability: “Adrian Newey has won more titles than anyone in the paddock. So I’m sure everyone wants him. He’s definitely a legend.” Krack, however, clarified the team’s current satisfaction with its technical leadership, including recent addition Bob Bell: “No, no,” he asserted. “We have a very strong technical team with Dan (Fallows), Tom (McCullough), Luca (Furbatto) and Bob Bell recently joined us. So we are quite happy with what we have at the moment.”

Fernando Alonso, asked about the speculation, chose to concentrate on his role: “I focus purely on driving.”


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