Helmut Marko reveals how Red Bull stopped Ferrari from signing Christian Horner

Ferrari reportedly tried to sign Adrian Newey earlier in the year, prior to Red Bull's chief technical officer signing a new deal.

Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has revealed that the Austrians once had to offer team principal Christian Horner and chief technical officer Adrian Newey “millions more” to “convince” the pair to reject an offer from Ferrari, with the latter having come incredibly close to making the switch to Maranello.

Ferrari have supposedly tried to poach Horner and Newey multiple times, with Newey having been linked to the Italians as recently as this season, prior to him signing a new long-term contract with the Milton Keynes-based team.

Horner and Newey have been an integral part of Red Bull’s success, with Horner having led the side since they joined Formula 1 in 2005.

Newey joined a year later in 2006, with Red Bull having claimed six Drivers’ Championships and five Constructors’ Championships since then.

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Given how successful the duo has made the Austrians, it’s understandable why Ferrari were so keen to hire the pair.

According to Marko, Ferrari were ready to “announce” that they’d signed Newey, whilst the 80-year-old had to spend an entire night convincing Horner not to leave.

“(Luca di) Montezemolo was already cheering in the paddock and wanted to announce the deal. But during the night we were able to change Newey’s mind,” Marko told Swiss newspaper Blick.

“It took me another whole night to convince Horner to stay at Red Bull. And it cost us millions more.”

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Newey was offered a “very attractive” offer by Ferrari in 2014 which resulted in him having several ‘sleepless nights”, leaving him in a “difficult position”.

He recently discussed how close he came to joining Ferrari and how Red Bull’s previous engine partnership with Renault was part of what tempted him to leave; however, he ultimately decided that it “felt wrong” to leave Milton Keynes.

“I was in a bit of a difficult position,” Newey told Sky Sports F1.

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“I didn’t want to walk out of Red Bull because it feels like home and I’d been heavily involved from the start with Christian, building the team up from the ashes of Jaguar to where it was today.

“I didn’t want to walk out on that but equally I didn’t want to be in a position where we were operating with one hand tied behind our back in the engine department.

“It was a very difficult decision. Ferrari came up with an incredible offer, very attractive, and it caused me a lot of sleepless nights deciding what to do and who to go for. In the end, it would have felt wrong to walk out on Red Bull.”