Former McLaren driver shares story of how Red Bull boss Christian Horner first approached Adrian Newey

Former McLaren driver shares story of how Red Bull boss Christian Horner first approached Adrian Newey

Former McLaren and Red Bull driver David Coulthard recently shared the story of how Christian Horner approached Adrian Newey, the team’s CTO.

The Austrian team started in 2005 with Horner as a very young team principal and David as one of the team’s first drivers. David was part of championship-winning outfits such as Williams and McLaren where Adrian Newey designed cars that had worked like charms.

In the early days of Red Bull, Horner, as a team principal younger than even his driver David, was trying to set up the team. In the process of eventually becoming a juggernaut, the first step was to sign Adrian Newey.

Speaking about the moment the Red Bull boss considered approaching Newey, David Coulthard told the story of his signing. He told

“I worked with Adrian at Williams when I was a test driver and then a racing driver, I worked with him at McLaren, so I’d known him since I was 20.”

“All credit to Christian, he was the one who had the idea, ‘Can we get Adrian?’ I think when I joined the team, I really went, ‘Okay, how is it different from McLaren? What are the best things? What are the worst things?’

He added:

“Christian had the vision of, ‘This is where we are right now, but how do I put together the best army to fight the wars in the years to come?’ When he started talking about Adrian, I said, ‘Let’s go meet him!’”

“I’m actually standing on King’s Road, just off Sloane Square, as we speak, and we had that first meeting at the Bluebird Cafe in a private room there, because I was a member.”

It didn’t take long to convince Adrian Newey to sign with Red Bull

Coulthard further elaborated on what happened in the conversation. He revealed that after the first round of talks between Horner and Newey, the designer agreed to meet Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz in Austria. From that point on, Newey didn’t take much persuasion to make his decision.

Coulthard said:

“It was the first time that Adrian and Christian came together and started a process that led to him meeting Mr Mateschitz in Austria and finally agreeing the terms to come and join the team. I don’t feel it took too much influence, because I would have known him for a long time. Fortunately he went, ‘ Yeah, okay, I’m ready for this challenge. Where do I sign?'”

Red Bull first tasted success with Adrian Newey in 2009 when it won its first ever race and then won the title in 2010 with Sebastian Vettel.

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