Adrian Newey’s bike accident previous summer nearly ended his life, but he recovered completely.
Adrian Newey, technical director for Red Bull, claims that he told his family to “get [him] out of here” after being hospitalised to a hospital in Croatia previous summer following a bike accident.
During the summer vacation from F1 the year before, Newey and his wife Amanda went for a vacation to the Balkans. While bicycling at night, Newey swerved to escape a group of kids and fell onto some rocks, splitting open his head.
Arriving in the clinic the next day, Newey questioned his doctors about his prognosis after discovering a cracked skull and a bone chip above the upper eye muscle.
“The three wise men appeared at the bottom of my bed — a neurosurgeon, a maxillofacial guy and the anaesthetist,” Newey told the Evening Standard.
“With the eye, they said they’d need to act quickly or the bone could sever the eye muscle and I’d lose movement of the eye.
“Okay, what’s the risk of damage to the eye? ‘Oh, no risk.’ Any risk of brain damage? ‘Oh, not much.’ Give me a percentage. ‘Five, maybe 10 per-cent.’ At which point I told my wife to get me out of there.”
Ecclestone and Horner assist
Just a few days before, Newey had returned from a vacation with Bernie Ecclestone, and the former F1 boss teamed up with Christian Horner, the head of Red Bull Team, to arrange for Newey to be transported to London and undergo surgery there.
Due to the recuperation that followed, Newey missed a month of work for Red Bull, but he was back in the pit lane in time for the Turkish Grand Prix and was actively involved in all 7 of the remaining races of the season.
However, Newey’s reply to such an idea may have destroyed any dreams Red Bull competitors had of his taking it easy following his near-death experience: “No, I’m enough pig-headed that it didn’t change anything.”
Christian Horner, F1, F1 2022, FIA, Formula 1, Grand Prix, Adrian Newey, Red Bull