Lewis Hamilton: It would be a privilege to work with Adrian Newey at Ferrari

Lewis Hamilton - Lewis Hamilton: It would be a privilege to work with Adrian Newey at Ferrari
Lewis Hamilton will be back in action on Friday during practice ahead of this weekend's Miami Grand Prix - Getty Images/Jared C. Tilton

Lewis Hamilton has admitted that he would love Ferrari to sign Adrian Newey next year once the latter’s Red Bull contract ends, adding if he had a “wishlist” of people he would love to work with, the 65-year-old designer would “absolutely be at the top of it”.

Speaking in Miami ahead of this weekend’s race, Hamilton, who joins the Italian team next year after over a decade with Mercedes, was not shy to oil the wheels of a deal many feel is now a foregone conclusion.

Newey’s bombshell departure from Red Bull “in the first quarter of 2025” was confirmed by the team earlier this week.

And while Red Bull have been preparing for life post-Newey for quite some time, no one foresaw that the celebrated designer would be able to negotiate an early release from a contract he only renewed last year and which was supposed to run until the end of 2025, with the possibility of a 12-month non-compete clause even after that.

Red Bull have thus far not been able to satisfactorily answer why they are releasing Newey early. But his availability this time next year changes the game completely.

While Ferrari will already be well advanced with their 2026 machine by then, they will not be so far advanced that Newey could not use his insight and knowledge to influence the final design.

Hamilton, 39, admitted he hoped that dream became a reality. “Adrian has such a great history and track record,” he said. “He’s done an amazing job through his career, engaging with teams and the knowledge he has. I think he would be an amazing addition.

“I think they [Ferrari] already have a great team, making huge strides forward and progress. Their car is quicker this year. But it would be a privilege to work with him.”

Asked whether trying to poach Newey had been part of the discussions when he was negotiating his contract with Ferrari, Hamilton smiled. “This is all private conversation stuff,” he said. “But if I was to do a list of people I would love to work with, he would absolutely be at the top of it. I don’t know. We’ll see.”

Hamilton added that he did not expect Red Bull to lose competitiveness suddenly following Newey’s departure.

“It’s not one person, it’s a whole team of people who do the job,” stressed the seven-time world champion. “But any team would be fortunate to have the opportunity to work with him.”

Hamilton, of course, has a slight conflict of interest in that his current team, Mercedes, are struggling at the moment. And many observers feel Newey, whose thesis at the University of Southampton many moons ago was based on ground effect, could be exactly what they need.

Asked whether he expected Mercedes to challenge Ferrari for Newey’s signature, Hamilton – who had just said his heart remained with Mercedes and he wanted to lift them up, looked slightly uncomfortable. “I have no idea if they [Mercedes] are trying,” he said.

Ferrari certainly are. Italy’s Gazzetta dello Sport has already reported that Newey met Ferrari team principal Frédéric Vasseur in London last week, a claim Ferrari have not denied.

‘Adrian is much more than a designer’

Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez, in the same press conference, said losing Newey, a man he described as a brilliant designer and also a good friend, was “not ideal”. But he denied that his departure might trigger a further exodus at a team still caught up in political drama, with a bitter power struggle going on behind the scenes and continued speculation over the future of team principal Christian Horner, who has been accused by a female employee of controlling and coercive behaviour. Her grievance case has been dismissed by Red Bull’s parent company, an outcome which she is appealing against. Horner has consistently denied any wrongdoing.

“I don’t think so,” Pérez replied when asked whether he expected Newey’s departure to have a ripple effect. “Christian has done a great job preparing for life without Adrian. I think everyone is fully committed and the future is bright. It’s normal you have movement sometimes but the organisation remains really strong.

“But Adrian is much more than a designer. In strategy, set-up, influence across the whole race weekend, he is very strong. Wherever he goes he’ll have an impact.”

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