Lewis Hamilton: Adrian Newey joining Ferrari ‘would be a privilege’

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Between his words and the wry smile across his face, Ferrari-bound Lewis Hamilton made it clear Thursday he favors a union with Adrian Newey in 2025 following the famed Formula One car designer’s departure from Red Bull.

When he leaves the team he joined in 2006 early next year, Newey will not be subject to “gardening leave” — time he would have to wait before joining a competitor — so he will then be able to sign for rival teams that are set to battle for his signature in the coming weeks and months.

Asked if he’d like Newey to join him at Ferrari, Hamilton was clear: “Very much!”

Hamilton spoke Thursday at this weekend’s Miami Grand Prix in a media session dominated by questions about Hamilton and Newey potentially forming a quasi-dream team were they to work together at Ferrari. Hamilton has won a record-tying seven world drivers’ championships, while Newey has contributed to designing cars that have won 12 constructors’ world championships during stints at Red Bull, McLaren and Williams.

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 07: Adrian Newey, the Chief Technical Officer of Oracle Red Bull Racing looks on in the garage during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at Jeddah Corniche Circuit on March 07, 2024 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

During Newey’s time at Red Bull, where he currently serves as global chief technical officer, he played a significant role in the team emerging as one of the most dominant in F1 history, with seven drivers’ championships and six constructors’ championships.

“Adrian’s got such a great history, track record, and he’s obviously just done an amazing job throughout his career in engaging with teams and the knowledge that he has,” Hamilton said. “I think he would be an amazing addition. I think (Ferrari) have already got a great team, they’re already making huge progress and strides forward — their car is quicker this year — but yeah, it would be a privilege to work with him.”

Ferrari announced a shock multi-year deal with Hamilton prior to this season, a move the Italian team hopes will lead to it ending a championship dryspell that dates to 2008, when it won the constructors’ title. Bringing aboard Newey would only further buoy Ferrari’s aspirations.

On Thursday, Hamilton was coy about whether he’s already spoken to Ferrari chairman John Elkann or team principal Frederic Vasseur regarding Newey joining him, preferring to keep those conversations behind closed doors.

“I mean, this is all very much private conversation stuff,” Hamilton said. “If I was to do a list of people I would like to work with he would absolutely be at the top of it.”

during previews to the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix at the Hungaroring on July 26, 2012 in Budapest, Hungary.

Hamilton with Newey in 2012. The driver joined McLaren shortly after the designer’s departure. (Vladimir Rys/Getty Images)

How would Hamilton then assess the odds that Newey follows him to Ferrari? “I don’t know. We’ll see,” he said, smirking.

What about on a personal level, how excited would Hamilton be for the opportunity to work with a car designer heralded as the best in F1 history? “Very,” he said.

Although Hamilton and Newey have never directly worked together, they nearly crossed paths during their respective stints at McLaren: Newey departed in 2006, a year before Hamilton joined.

Hamilton fondly recalled the heightened level that Newey left at McLaren. He won four races and finished runner-up in the world championship during his 2007 rookie season, then followed by winning five races and the championship in 2008.

“Just from my perspective when I joined McLaren I think it was an evolution of his car; I think I got there just after he left,” Hamilton said. “That car had evolved from a concept that he had worked on. So I felt privileged that I had the chance to touch something he worked on.”

(Lead photo of Lewis Hamilton: Clive Rose/Getty Images)

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