Williams chief designer Adrian Newey could join Mclaren for the 1998 Grand Prix Season. McLaren boss Ron Dennis is said to have made a big money offer to Newey, whose cars have won the constructor’s championship four times in the last five years.
Newey is said to be disenchanted by the way team boss Frank Williams has treated Damon Hill. The 37-year-old has also been offered a multi-million dollar salary to join Ferrari to replace technical boss John Barnard, whose contract expires in July 1997. It wants to move its entire technical department to Italy.
Newey is held in such high regard in F1 that if he left Williams for 1998, it would turn the drivers market on its head and likely make McLaren the most desirable seat in F1.
He has a contract with Williams until the end of 1999, but although it could stop him working for another team if he was to quit the World Championship outfit, for how long it could do so is another matter. Newey refused to comment on specifics but said: ‘Various engineers get various offers from various teams at various stages in their careers. There’s no particular novelty.’
5/9/96 – Autosport.