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Opinion: Red Bull Performance a Symptom of Slow Death as Adrian Newey’s Exit Does Instant Damage

Shreya Sanjeev

Opinion: Red Bull Performance a Symptom of Slow Death as Adrian Newey’s Exit Does Instant Damage

Audiences saw an unfamiliar sight on Friday: Max Verstappen struggling with his Red Bull challenger. Verstappen has long forgone the image he had created last year, answering the prayers of many. However, the last two races could begin a pattern Red Bull would’ve hoped came later.

From a surprise pole that Verstappen laughed at receiving to being unable to catch up to Lando Norris’ McLaren, something was off at Miami. From the way practice sessions have gone at Imola, it looks like the upgrades that Red Bull has brought in have done nothing to their performance. Verstappen and Sergio Perez’s post-session interviews indicated there was a big problem at hand.

The aftermath of Adrian Newey‘s exit on the strength of the team was anticipated to deplete gradually. However, it seemed like the effects were immediate. One would assume that the car’s design would take a hit as the upcoming season comes, but that means we may have neglected the extent to which Red Bull depends on Newey.

In hindsight, it’s important to look at Perez’s press conference in Miami. Before their problems were laid bare, Perez had reflected on Newey’s influence on the team. “He can influence even strategies, setup…to have him around on race weekends was great.”

The all-knowing Newey was about more than just the car, and with such an important part of the team leaving soon, Red Bull looked to have staggered a bit. With one pillar of their team gone, Red Bull still has Verstappen. For now.

Max Verstappen has his fingers crossed for Red Bull

Even with their golden boy, there’s only so much one can do in a car that isn’t 100%. And Verstappen chases perfection. Thus, his comments about the car in Imola would make the rest of the grid very happy.

When asked about his bad day, Verstappen could only laugh“I guess it can’t be worse than what we had today, right?” 

But, Verstappen hopes his team finds the answer. “I guess it can’t be worse than what we had today, right?” The question remains, will it be possible without Newey?

There are a lot of things Red Bull has to figure out. Their competitors have started taking advantage of their internal turmoil and are catching up. The beginning of the end could be creeping up way too quickly for the reigning champions.

Post Edited By:Aishwary Gaonkar

About the author

Shreya Sanjeev

Shreya Sanjeev


Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 journalist at the SportsRush. Two years in the field and an ever-growing love for the sport drive her dream to walk around the paddock one day with a mic in hand. A Red Bull fan through and through, her “favorite driver” spot was once held by notable alumni Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, and now, the Dutch Lion himself, Max Verstappen. Apart from F1, she muses in the NBA and cheers on for Steph Curry and his Warriors, while also jumping on the NFL bandwagon.

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