Adrian Newey: HUGE Salary and all of his title-winning cars

Alex Gassman

by Alex Gassman

Adrian Newey

Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Adrian Newey is the most highly respected and coveted Formula 1 car designer of the recent era. But with speculation rife about his desire to leave Red Bull, what’s next for the 65 year old technical genius?

Here’s a look back at all of the championship winning cars Newey has built over the years. Plus his current salary, and where he might go next.

Newey's incredible career

Newey is renowned for his unrivalled ability to design championship winning Formula 1 cars. In total, F1 cars he’s designed have won 13 drivers’ titles and 12 constructors’ titles. 

His foray in to the world of motorsport begain in the late 1980s. After successfully designing championship winning IndyCars and IMSA race cars for March Engineering, Newey became involved in the March Formula 1 program. 

March 86C

March 86C licensed under CC BY 2.0

His first design was the March 881 which raced in 1988 and was much more successful than many people had expected. It was the only non-turbo car to lead a race for a long period that season.

A change of owners at March Engineering in 1990 meant that Newey was unhappy with the March team. But he knew that Formula 1 was where he wanted to be, and the other teams had already taken notice of his talent.

Williams 1991 - 1996

Newey was snapped up by Patrick head at Williams for the start of the 1991 season. The two of them partnered together to design the team’s cars. This would be the beginning of Newey’s incredible run of success in Formula 1.

Williams FW14B licensed under CC BY 2.0

The death of Ayrton Senna in 1994, who had moved to Williams that year, was a huge shock to the world, the sport, and the Williams team. Potential manslaughter charges for members of the design team (which Newey was later acquitted of) meant that his relationship with Williams was beginning to sour. He left at the end of 1996, but his car designs were still used in the 1997 season.

Here are all the titles his cars won at Williams:

1992 – FW14B

  • Drivers Champion – Nigel Mansell
  • 2nd place driver – Riccardo Patrese
  • Constructors’ champion

1993 – FW15C

  • Driver’s Champion – Alain Prost
  • 3rd place driver – Damon Hill
  • Constructors’ champion

 1994 – FW16

  • 2nd place driver – Damon Hill
  • Constructors’ champion

 1996 – FW18

  • Drivers’ Champion – Damon Hill
  • 2nd place driver – Jacques Villeneuve
  • Constructors’ champion

 1997 – FW19

  • Drivers’ Champion – Jacques Villeneuve
  • 2nd place driver – Heinz-Harold Frentzen
  • Constructors’ champion

In total, his Williams cars won 4 drivers’ titles and 5 constructors’ titles. They won a total of 59 races, took 78 pole positions and 60 fastest races laps across a total of 114 races from ’91 – ’97.

Newey was now hot property on the Formula 1 grid.

McLaren 1997 - 2005

By the time Newey joined McLaren in 1997 it was too late for him to have any influence on that year’s car. So he turned his focus to the design of the 1998 F1 car. When the 1998 season got underway, it quickly became apparent that the McLaren MP4/13 was the car to beat.

McLaren, under Newey’s design guidance, had a couple of years of success before the Ferrari and Schumacher era of dominance set in.

Here’s all of Newey’s title winning cars at McLaren:

1998 – MP4/13

  • Drivers’ Champion – Mika Hakkinen
  • 3rd place driver – David Coulthard
  • Constructors’ champion

1999 – MP4/14

  • Drivers’ Champion – Mika Hakkinen
  • 4th place driver – David Coulthard
  • 2nd place constructor

In total, Newey’s cars won two drivers’ titles and one constructor title at McLaren.

Red Bull 2006 - present

In 2006 Christian Horner snapped up Adrian Newey in only the team’s second year of existence. It took a few years to get going, but with the young gun Sebastian Vettel on the team in 2010 Newey’s cars once again became the dominant force on the F1 grid.

Newey and Vettel

Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

From 2014 – 2020 Red Bull couldn’t match the pace of Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. But with Max Verstappen onboard the incredible 2021 championship saw a return to winning ways for the team.

Newey’s RB19, the 2023 title winning car, is the most dominant car he or anyone has ever produced. It won 21 out of 22 races, a total win percentage of 95.45%. No other car or driver has ever matched that in F1.

Here are all of Newey’s title winning Red Bulls:

2010 – RB6

  • Drivers’ Champion – Sebastian Vettel
  • 3rd place driver – Mark Webber
  • Constructors’ champion

2011 – RB7

  • Drivers’ Champion – Sebastian Vettel
  • 3rd place driver – Mark Webber
  • Constructors’ champion

2012 – RB8

  • Drivers’ Champion – Sebastian Vettel
  • 6th place driver – Mark Webber
  • Constructors’ champion

2013 – RB9

  • Drivers’ Champion – Sebastian Vettel
  • 3rd place driver – Mark Webber
  • Constructors’ champion

2021 – RB16B

  • Drivers’ Champion – Max Verstappen
  • 4th place driver – Sergio Perez
  • 2nd place constructor

2022 – RB18

  • Drivers’ Champion – Max Verstappen
  • 3rd place driver – Sergio Perez
  • Constructors’ Champion

2023 – RB19

  • Drivers’ Champion – Max Verstappen
  • 2nd place driver – Sergio Perez
  • Constructors’ Champion

 In total, Newey’s Red Bull F1 cars have won 7 drivers’ titles and 6 constructors’ titles. So far.

Time to leave?

Newey has been at Red Bull since 2006. He’s undoubtedly been the genius that had led to the two periods of Red Bull dominance. Who knows where they’d be without him.

But the recent scandal involving accusations of misconduct again Horner has reportedly led to Newey feeling unsettled. Additional reports have stated that Aston Martin and Ferrari have made offers to him to join their teams.

Vettel and Horner

Image licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Now, both Auto Motor und Sport and the BBC have confirmed that Newey is planning on departing Red Bull, despite being contracted with them until the end of 2025.

If he leaves, what’s his next move? He’s 65 years old and has had an illustrious career so has nothing left to prove. Yet, in the past, he’s stated that he wishes he’d had the chance to work with Hamilton, Alonso or Ferrari.

Hamilton's foresight

The Italian media outlet FormulaPassion.it have reported that Ferrari have been in advanced contractual negotiations with Newey about joining the Maranello team.

If Newey did decide to spend the final years of his career wearing red, then it would appear that Lewis Hamilton’s move to Ferrari in 2025 is a thing of crystal-ball wisdom. Much like when he departed McLaren for Mercedes, maybe he knew something all along that we didn’t.

And if Newey does decide to go to Ferrari, he’d be able to check off two of his three wishes in one go.

Hamilton ferrari

Has Lewis given the game away?

During a press conference at the start of the Miami Grand Prix week, Lewis was repeatedly asked his thoughts on Newey joining Ferrari. Each time he answered, he did so with a cheeky grin on his face that seemed very telling.

The most blatant of all was when he was asked “What’s the chances of Adrian joining Ferrari?”. His answer was “I dunno, we’ll see”, accompanied by a very telling smirk.

I think Lewis knows more than the rest of us…

Adrian Newey's salary

Being the number one car designer in Formula 1, Adrian Newey commands the big bucks.

When he first joined Red Bull he was reportedly on an annual salary somewhere between $7 million and  $10 million. Then, in 2015, Newey supposedly rejected a $28 million offer to join Ferrari, according to the Straits Times.

Recently it was reported that Lawrence Stroll, owner of the Aston Martin team, made him another huge offer to come and join their outfit.

Whatever Newey does next, we know that he’ll have huge offers from pretty much every team on the grid.

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Alex Gassman

I‘m Alex. I write F1 and motorsport travel guides based on my experience as racing driver and full-time motorsport nerd. I’ve traveled the world watching F1 and other racing series.

I started oversteer48 with the aim of helping other motorsport fans who are planning on watching some racing themselves.

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Join the oversteer48 F1 Insider's club

I’ll send you a weekly email with insider info on the latest F1 news and results. 
Read by over 5,000 busy F1 fans each week.