Lewis Hamilton would feel ‘privileged’ to work with Adrian Newey at Ferrari

Lewis Hamilton has called on Adrian Newey to move to Ferrari next year, claiming it would be a “privilege” to work with him.

Newey, considered the greatest Formula One technical mastermind of his generation, will be a free agent next year after Red Bull confirmed he is set to end his association with the team.

Hamilton, who is moving to Ferrari next season, was asked ahead of this weekend’s Miami Grand Prix how much he would like Newey to make the switch too.

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton, pictured, would like Adrian Newey to join him at Ferrari next year (David Davies/PA)

“Very much,” Hamilton replied, before adding: “Adrian Newey has got such a great history and track record and he has done an amazing job through his career. With the knowledge he has he would be an amazing addition.”

Hamilton added: “They (Ferrari) have got a great team and they are making huge progress and their car is quicker this year, but it would be a privilege to work with him.

“If I was to do a list of people I would like to work with then he (Newey) would absolutely be at the top of it.

“Any team would be fortunate to have the opportunity to work with him.”

Newey, who has played a significant role in 13 drivers’ world championships and a dozen constructors’ titles, is free to join another team when he leaves Red Bull in the first quarter of next year, possibly before the opening round in Australia in March.

McLaren and Mercedes are believed not to be interested in signing Newey while it is understood he is unlikely to join Aston Martin, leaving Ferrari as the frontrunner.

It would pave the way for the 65-year-old to have a major impact on the next change in regulations in 2026 – which is due to mark Hamilton’s second season with the Italian giants as he pursues a record eighth title.

Newey’s first championship success arrived in 1992 when Nigel Mansell crushed the opposition in his all-conquering Williams.

Titles for Alain Prost, Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve all followed for the British team before Newey was persuaded by Ron Dennis to move to McLaren in 1997.

One year after Newey joined, and Mika Hakkinen was celebrating the first of successive titles. Newey then moved to Red Bull, one season before Hamilton made his debut in 2007.

“From my perspective when I joined McLaren it was an evolution of his car,” added Hamilton, 39.

“I got there just after he left and the car had evolved from his concept so I felt privileged I could touch something he had worked on.”

Bahrain Grand Prix – Qualifying Day – Bahrain International Circuit
Max Verstappen’s future at Red Bull remains in doubt (David Davies/PA)

Newey’s departure from Red Bull comes in the wake of team principal Christian Horner being accused of “nappropriate behaviour” by a female employee. He was exonerated by Red Bull’s parent company GmbH on the eve of last month’s curtain-raiser in Bahrain and has always denied the claims.

But it remains to be seen what effect Newey’s Red Bull exit will have on the team’s superstar driver Max Verstappen.

Speaking on Thursday, he said: “At the moment, my future is within Red Bull. I want to stay at the team because I believe in the project we have, but in sport and in life you don’t know what will happen in the future.

“I would have preferred Adrian to stay because of his knowledge and what he might bring to another team but besides that, I trust the people we have and they are incredibly good at what they do.

“If someone wants to leave, they should leave. If you think that is the right decision and you seek another challenge you have to do it. F1 is a shark tank, everyone thinks about themselves, I know that, I am not stupid so it is fine.

“It would have been unfair to put him on gardening leave because of what he has done for the team so there is mutual respect. There will never be another Adrian but that is fine because it would be boring if everyone was like Adrian.”