Ferrari courted both Newey and Horner


It has been revealed that Ferrari unsuccessfully sought to secure the services of both Christian Horner and design guru Adrian Newey.

Arguably the most famous name on the F1 grid, Ferrari has not always been the most successful. Indeed, prior to the arrival of Ross Brawn, Rory Byrne, Jean Todt and Michael Schumacher in the late 90s, the Maranello outfit had not won the title since 1979, and even with the 'dream team' on board it took five seasons before it all came together.

While Kimi Raikkonen added another title in 2007, even the recruitment of Fernando Alonso and subsequently Sebastian Vettel couldn't lift the legendary Scuderia out of the F1 equivalent of the doldrums as Red Bull, Mercedes and then Red Bull again took centre stage.

Consequently it comes as no surprise to learn that the Italian team sought to secure the services of Adrian Newey, arguably the most successful designer to grace the sport having won championship winning cars for Williams, McLaren and Red Bull.

"I was very tempted to go there in the past, it's a legendary brand," the Briton told Sky Sports Italy. "They contacted me in 1993, I think, and then again in 1997, when I went from Williams to McLaren.

"That was a very difficult choice," he admitted. "At the time, my children were very young and I didn't want them to change schools. If I had gone to Ferrari I would have had to move to Italy and it would have been complicated. This has had an impact."

The most recent attempt to secure his services came in 2014, following the introduction of the hybrid formula, as Red Bull began to realise that the Renault power-unit was no match for the Mercedes, despite the French manufacturer being the driving force behind the formula's introduction.

"It was a very difficult decision," admitted Newey. "Ferrari came up with an incredible offer, very attractive, and it caused me a lot of sleepless nights deciding what to do and who to go for. But in the end, it would have felt wrong to walk out on Red Bull."

"Montezemolo was already cheering in the paddock and wanted to announce the deal," Helmut Marko subsequently revealed to Swiss newspaper Blick. "But during the night we were able to change Newey's mind."

The Austrian further revealed that the Maranello outfit had made a similar move at the end of last season for Christian Horner's following Mattia Binotto's resignation.

"It took me another whole night to convince Horner to stay at Red Bull," said the Austrian. "And it cost us millions more!"

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Published: 07/06/2023
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