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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 July, 2004, 09:11 GMT 10:11 UK
McLaren may lose star
By Andrew Benson
Motorsport editor

McLaren technical director Adrian Newey
Newey is considering his future, and time away from F1
McLaren could lose their star Formula One designer next year.

Technical director Adrian Newey, widely considered to be the best aerodynamic designer in F1, is believed to be considering a break from the sport.

Newey told BBC Sport: "My contract with McLaren runs to 31 July next year so I will be technical director until then and after that we'll have to see."

Newey said he would consider his future next spring, once he had seen through the debut of the 2005 McLaren.

"I haven't made any decisions to be perfectly honest. At the moment, I'm mainly focused on next year's car and working through that. Then some point next spring I'll think about life after that," he said

Newey, 45, has worked in motorsport since leaving university and has been in F1 since 1987, and there are widespread rumours that he has lost some of his motivation.

It is believed he may take a year's sabbatical to pursue other interests before coming back to F1.

The new McLaren-Mercedes MP4-19B, on which technical director Adrian Newey led the design
McLaren's new car impressed at the British Grand Prix
In the past he has spoken of his desire to design a yacht for the America's Cup.

But if he was to leave the team, it would give a major headache to boss Ron Dennis, who would be concerned that McLaren might suffer.

Ferrari have dominated F1 for the last four years and McLaren have struggled in the first part of this season.

But the impressive performance of McLaren's new car at the British Grand Prix suggested Newey has lost none of his ability.

Newey joined McLaren in August 1997 after spending six years at Williams.

Cars in the design of which Newey was involved were considered to be the class of the field for 10 years from 1991, when his first Williams car appeared.

Those machines racked up 12 drivers' and constructors' titles between 1992 and '99, before Michael Schumacher started Ferrari's flood of championships in 2000.

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