Max Verstappen says Adrian Newey’s departure from Red Bull is “not as dramatic as it seems” and that he has full faith in the remaining technical staff to continue the team’s recent success.

Newey will leave in the first quarter of 2025 after 19 years at Red Bull, during which time he has helped the team to win seven drivers’ championships and six constructors’ titles. The news continues a tumultuous start to the year for Red Bull that began with a power struggle behind the scenes and Christian Horner being investigated for his behavior towards a female colleague, but the significance of Newey’s departure is being overstated, according to Verstappen.

“Of course Adrian from when he started at Red Bull, he was incredibly important for the success that they had,” Verstappen said. “Of course over time his role has changed a bit, and a lot of people don’t understand what he was actually doing.

“I don’t say he wasn’t doing anything, but his role has evolved. A lot of good people came into the team that have strengthened that whole department.

“Of course I would have preferred him to stay, because you can always rely on his experience and just as a person he is a great guy to chat to and relate to. He is very bright, very smart but he would also talk to the driver and interpret that into the car, in terms of he would try to imagine himself driving.

“But I also really trust that the technical team we have outside of Adrian is very, very strong. They have basically shown that with the last few years, with how competitive the car is. From the outside, it looks very dramatic. But I think if you know what is happening inside the team it is not as dramatic as it seems.”

Verstappen doesn’t believe Newey’s decisi on will have a major impact on the capabilities of Red Bull to defend its position as Formula 1’s current dominant team.

“I think all of these things a couple of years ago would have been a bit unexpected but I think it is always very important to remain calm and focused on your job, know who you’re working with, feel comfortable,” he said.

“At the end of the day, we need to have the fastest car, that’s what I always demanded, that’s what we finally got for a couple of years now. And we have a very strong technical team that are part of the team still for a long time. It goes on like it was going before.”

While Toto Wolff has been courting Verstappen should the instability at Red Bull cause him to leave, the Dutchman says Newey’s departure doesn’t directly impact his own future.

“Not at the moment,” he said. “I think people, in the press, they are making up a lot of things at the moment because they don’t understand how the roles were in the team. Like I said before, I cannot deny I would have preferred him to stay, just for how he is as a person, his knowledge and what he will bring potentially to another team if he wants to join. Besides that, I trust the people we have, they are incredibly good at what they do.

“At the moment, I can say that I want to stay with the team because I believe in the project that we have, with everyone involved. But at the end of the day, in sports, but also in life, you don’t know what’s going to happen in the future.”