They say if you can’t beat them join them, or in Red Bull’s case hire them. This seems to be the strategy employed by the Milton Keynes based team. Just weeks after they made the acquisition of former Mercedes Head of Mechanical engineering Ben Hodgkinson, Red Bull have now signed five senior Mercedes engine staff.
Written by Andrew Lwanga, Edited by Hazel Alagappan
This comes at a time when Red Bull is building what has been called a state of the art engine facility at its headquarters in Milton Keynes. Red Bull which has previously functioned as a customer team for several engine manufacturers notably Renault and Honda have made it clear that they plan to function more as a works or factory team especially considering Honda’s departure from Formula 1 by season’s end.
Speaking on the matter Team Principal Christian Horner said, “Red Bull’s mission to bring all aspects of its Formula 1 operations in-house through Red Bull Powertrains is an enormously exciting undertaking but also an extremely demanding one, and we know that success will only be achieved by bringing in the best and brightest talent, by providing them with the right tools and by creating the right environment in which they can thrive.”
These signings include Mercedes’ electronic team leader Omid Mostaghimi who will head Red Bull’s Powertrains and Electronics.
Steve Blewett who is Mercedes’ head of Manufacturing. He is set to become Red Bull’s power unit production director.
Pip Clode who is Mercedes’ power unit concept team leader, he will become Red Bull’s head of mechanical design ERS.
Mercedes’ trackside and final inspection manager Steve Brodie will become Red Bull’s Group leader of ICE operations while Anton Mayo an engineering team leader for the Silver Arrows will be the head of power unit design.
“Today’s key leadership team appointments demonstrate our strong commitment to those goals and we certainly benefit from our campus being located in the UK where we have access to a huge wealth of engineering talent.” Said Horner.
“Working with our new technical director, Ben Hodgkinson, and alongside key personnel retained from Honda Racing Development, each of the senior personnel announced today bring a wealth of experience, expertise and innovation to the Red Bull Powertrains programme and provide us with the strongest possible technical platform for the future.”
Losing team members to the direct competition would seemingly be a blow to Mercedes but team boss Toto Wolff said he’s not overly concerned about it further stating that he’s not worried about increasing pay to his staff to keep them at Brackley.
“There will always be a back and forth.” He said “But let’s put it this way, I understand where Christian is coming from, he wants to build a structure and that’s where you have to write a big cheque sometimes. But that’s okay.”