Former F1 Team Owner Sheds Light On Adrian Newey's Next Steps - 'Won't Be Able To Resist The Regulation Change'

Former Formula 1 team owner Mark Preston predicts that Adrian Newey will likely continue to excel and embrace new challenges in Formula 1 following his departure from Red Bull, particularly due to upcoming regulatory changes.
Adrian Newey
Adrian Newey / Red Bull Content Pool

In an exclusive interview with Sports Illustrated's Alex Harrington, former Formula 1 team owner Mark Preston shared his insights on Adrian Newey's probable next steps in the sport following his departure from Red Bull Racing.

Mark Preston, who has an extensive background in Formula 1 and worked alongside Newey at McLaren, emphasized Newey’s passion for embracing new challenges, particularly those involving significant regulatory shifts. With a history of adeptly navigating F1's rule changes, Newey's next professional chapter is likely to be as dynamic as his previous endeavors. Preston cited examples of Red Bull’s strategic successes under Newey’s guidance, such as the proficient use of ground effect and the Drag Reduction System (DRS), to illustrate his knack for leveraging new technical frameworks to maximum effect.

Preston commented:

"I think Adrian [Newey] enjoys when there's unknown unknowns. What I mean is when the regulations change, nobody knows the answer, and I think from what, at least from the outside, what I can see that Red Bull's done a great job at is understanding ground effect, of course, but also the combination as it works with DRS.

"That's not me knowing the actual, you know, how it works, but just saying it does seem that they have hit a sweet spot there and understood it from the beginning. And obviously, that makes a difference. So, I think rule changes. I know that Adrian's been successful whenever there's been a rule change. Unknown unknowns are something where he shines, and therefore I don't think he'd be able to resist being involved in that new regulation change."

The conversation with Preston also touched on the broader implications of having influential figures like Newey in Formula 1. Drawing a parallel with elite drivers, Preston shared:

"I think it's a combination of success. For example, in terms of drivers, I remember having a conversation with someone who said it's great working with Alonso because when you're an engineer and you make a change on the car, you're not quite sure if it's really better or worse. A really good driver will be confident and say, "We're going that direction."

"Without direction, you start to flounder because a lot of these little changes are hard to see in data. A good driver who can confidently say, "It is better," helps guide the team in the right direction. The same applies to Adrian. When you need to make a big change that affects the entire car, it requires a lot of confidence. Adrian has that confidence and experience, which makes it easier for him to push through significant changes and believe they will open up more opportunities in the future. That's what makes him stand out."

Thank you to OLBG for setting up this interview.

Lydia Mee


Lydia is the lead editor of F1 editorial. After following the sport for several years, she was finally able to attend the British Grand Prix in person in 2017. Since then, she's been addicted to not only the racing, but the atmosphere the fans bring to each event. She's a strong advocate for women in motorsport and a more diverse industry.