Red Bull have confirmed chief technical officer Adrian Newey will leave the team in early 2025, with the legendary designer free to join a rival outfit ahead of the 2026 season.

Newey informed Red Bull he wished to leave after a tumultuous period behind the scenes for the Formula One constructors' champions.

At the start of the season, team principal Christian Horner was accused of engaging in inappropriate controlling behaviour towards a female member of staff, accusations he denied and was cleared of following an independent investigation.

The controversy surrounding Horner even led to suggestions three-time world champion Max Verstappen could leave the team, with Mercedes linked with a huge move for the Dutchman.

On Wednesday, it was confirmed that Newey – who has been with Red Bull since 2006 and is widely regarded as the greatest designer in Formula One history – will leave the team.

In a statement, Red Bull said Newey will "step back from design duties to focus on final development and delivery of Red Bull's first hypercar, the hugely anticipated RB17".

Newey said: "Ever since I was a young boy, I wanted to be a designer of fast cars. My dream was to be an engineer in Formula One, and I've been lucky enough to make that dream a reality.

"For almost two decades it has been my great honour to have played a key role in Red Bull Racing's progress from upstart newcomer to multiple title-winning team.

"However, I feel now is an opportune moment to hand that baton over to others and to seek new challenges for myself."

Newey has played a key role in all six of Red Bull's constructors' championships and is certain to attract interest from several teams.

Reports suggest the 65-year-old will not have to serve a period of gardening leave and will be able to join another team in the first quarter of 2025, allowing him to oversee development of a 2026 car.

Though it is not thought that Newey has already agreed to join another team, Ferrari are seen as favourites for his signature as they bid to partner him with seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.