Newey: Turning down Ferrari is biggest 'emotional regret' in F1


Legendary F1 designer Adrian Newey says the biggest "emotional regret" in his career is turning down advances from Ferrari.

Over the decades, the Scuderia made three different attempts to secure the services of Grand Prix racing's most acclaimed designer, who penned winning cars for Williams, McLaren and of course Red Bull.

Speaking recently on F1's Beyond the Grid podcast about his life and times in motor racing, Newey revealed a few details about how his dealings with the Scuderia came about.

"[Ferrari approached] in my IndyCar days, which probably doesn’t count, then ’93 and famously in 2014. The ’93 one was very tempting.

"I went down, Jean Todt had just started. I remember him talking about should he hire Michael [Schumacher] or not. Do you think that was a good idea?"

A newlywed at the time whose previous marriage had failed because he had split his time between the UK and the US while working for March, Newey declined the offer.

But in 2014, the first year of the 1.6-litre turbo-hybrid era in F1, Ferrari came knocking once again, and it did so at a time when Red Bull was struggling for performance with Renault's down-on-power engine, which led to many sleepless nights for Newey.


"My discussions in 2014 with Ferrari were purely out of frustration," Newey recounted.

"I really didn’t want to leave but we were in this position where Renault hadn’t produced a competitive turbo hybrid engine.

"That happens in the first year, OK, new rules. We all make mistakes.

"But we went to see Carlos Ghosn [Renault CEO at the time], Christian [Horner], Helmut [Marko] and myself to try to put pressure on him to up the budget.

"Ghosn’s reply was ‘Well, I have no interest in Formula 1. I’m only in it because my marketing people say I should be. That was such a depressing place to be."

Asked if he harbored any regrets over not moving to Maranello, Newey said: “Emotionally, I guess, to a point. Yes.

"But just as, for instance, working with Fernando [Alonso] and Lewis [Hamilton] would have been fabulous. But it never happened. It’s just circumstance sometimes, that’s the way it is."

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