Adrian Newey predicts ‘big challenge’ for F1’s major 2026 rules change but remains coy on his future | F1 News

Adrian Newey believes the big change of Formula 1’s rules in 2026 is set to present a “big challenge” for those involved, although the legendary designer remains coy about whether he will be part of the sport’s next era.

F1’s most-successful designer will leave Red Bull in the first quarter of 2025 after 19 years at the current world champions and, under the terms of his exit, he is understood to be free to work for another team should he wish to do so straight after his departure.

Newey, who has already stepped back from direct involvement in F1 at Red Bull, has so far indicated he has “no plans” for his future aside from an intention to take a break from the sport, although he has been heavily linked with Ferrari in particular.

Newey will still be present at some grands prix with Red Bull and, while attending the last race in Miami, spoke to Sky Sports F1’sNatalie Pinkham about the spectre of the 2026 rules.

In a rare twin change to both F1’s engine and chassis regulations for the season after next, the electrical power required from the power units is being dramatically increased, while the cars themselves are being overhauled in a bid to improve raceability.

The 2026 chassis rules are due to be signed off in June, with teams unable to start work on the new-look cars until the start of 2025.

“At the moment, they look a slightly strange set of regulations but to then write them off and say therefore they won’t be good, it’s way too premature,” said Newey, who admitted he initially found the current generation of rules introduced for 2022 “quite restrictive” before understanding there was more opportunity present.

“There comes a point where always as a designer you first look at what they might be and you might then have an opinion ‘are they good or are they bad’ but at some point you have to ignore that and just get on with the challenge of it.

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In his first TV interview since news of his impending Red Bull exit was confirmed, Adrian Newey tells Martin Brundle why he has decided to leave.

“I’m sure ’26 will be another big challenge.

“Whether I’m part of that or not I really don’t know, but for those involved it will be a big challenge.”

Where next for F1’s greatest designer?

Newey not completely satisfied with his final Red Bull

Although Newey’s remaining months at Red Bull will primarily be spent focused on matters outside of F1, and the delivery of the RB17 hypercar that he has designed, the 65-year-old clearly still has interest in the final car he has helped create for the team.

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In his first TV interview since news of his impending Red Bull exit was confirmed, Adrian Newey tells Martin Brundle why he has decided to leave.

Red Bull’s current RB20 has won four of the season’s opening six races with Max Verstappen yet Newey admitted: “There is one feature on the car that I’m not terribly happy with this year and that’s something which we’ll either change later in the year or more likely will be altered for next year.”

Sky Sports F1’s live Emilia Romagna GP schedule

F1 visits Europe for the first time in 2024 with the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Imola

Thursday May 16
1.30pm: Drivers’ Press Conference

Friday May 17
8:50am: F3 Practice
10am: F2 Practice
12pm: Emilia Romagna GP Practice One (session starts at 12.30pm)
2pm: F3 Qualifying
2:55pm: F2 Qualifying
3:45pm: Emilia Romagna GP Practice Two (session starts at 4pm)
5:30pm: The F1 Show

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Ride on board with Michael Schumacher as he duelled with Fernando Alonso on the final laps of the 2005 San Marino Grand Prix.

Saturday May 18
9am: F3 Sprint
11:15am: Emilia Romagna GP Practice Three (session starts at 11.30am)
1.10pm: F2 Sprint
2.10pm: Emilia Romagna GP Qualifying build-up
3pm: Emilia Romagna GP Qualifying
5pm: Ted’s Qualifying Notebook
5.30pm: Indy 500 Qualifying

Sunday May 19
7.30am: F3 Feature Race
9am: F2 Feature Race
12:30pm: Grand Prix Sunday: Emilia Romagna GP build-up
4pm: Chequered Flag: Emilia Romagna GP reaction
5pm: Ted’s Notebook
8pm: Indy 500 Qualifying

Formula 1 heads to Europe as Imola returns to the calendar following last year’s cancelled race. Watch the Emilia Romagna GP on May 17-19. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership – No contract, cancel anytime

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