MONTREAL (Reuters) - Formula One world champions Red Bull announced a three-year extension to top designer Adrian Newey’s contract on Sunday but indicated he would be moving increasingly away from the team and into new areas.
Red Bull principal Christian Horner said at the Canadian Grand Prix that Newey would work on as yet unspecified new Red Bull Technology projects as well as “advising and mentoring” the team.
Newey, a key and highly-paid part of Red Bull’s success who would be snapped up in an instant by any of the other leading teams, said he would be taking a step back once the 2015 car was signed off.
“I will be involved in the initial layout and stuff then in the future I will be involved with the guys...just mentoring them and stuff and being an advisor really,” he told Sky Sports television.
“I have loved the career I’ve had, but I feel I need some new challenges and stimulations. I said I didn’t want to spend my whole career purely in motor racing and now it is time to look at a few different things.”
Newey, who also has a love of racing the classic cars in his own collection, has been at Red Bull since the start of the 2006 season after designing multiple title-winning cars for Williams and McLaren.
Milton Keynes-based Red Bull have won the last four drivers’ and constructors’ championships in a row with Germany’s Sebastian Vettel and were determined not to lose Newey to a rival outfit.
The new agreement effectively ensures that does not happen while giving Newey fresh air to satisfy his desire to try something different.
The Briton had made clear last month, when he moved to quash speculation about a possible big money bid from rivals Ferrari, that he wanted to stay at Red Bull despite the current domination of Mercedes.
Newey, 55, has been linked to Ferrari in the past as well as a switch to Americas Cup yachting - which could now play a part in his future.
He has also forged a close working relationship with Horner, who told reporters in Monaco two weeks ago that Newey had a “paternal feeling” towards Red Bull.
“He has been involved (with the team) since the beginning, is much more involved than he has been at any other team, and he enjoys the environment he works in,” said the Briton.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Steve Tongue/Gene Cherry