Red Bull beats Mercedes to six engineers to improve its engine

Bottas, with his Mercedes, in front of the Verstappen Red Bull during the Portimao Grand Prix.

As if the tremendous upheaval foreseen in the technical regulations of the Formula 1 World Championship for the coming year were not enough, Red Bull will have to face that challenge without Honda, its engine supplier, which last October unexpectedly announced its intention to leave the championship later this year. The good news for the couple that make up Max Verstappen and Checo Pérez is that the model of this 2021 has taken a significant step forward compared to the previous version, an impression validated by the triumph (Imola) and the two second places (Bahrain and Portimão ) that the Dutchman accumulates in the three tests held to date.

Passed the shock Initially, which meant the slam of Honda, the red buffalo team began to tighten ropes to the point of putting in check the promoter (Liberty Media) and the legislator (FIA) of the event, whom they directly threatened to withdraw if they did not guarantee a alternative for which it would be worthwhile to go ahead with the two structures of the Austrian company: Red Bull and Alpha Tauri. The solution came in the form of a decree that stipulates that the development of power units will be frozen from 2022 until the end of 2024. The new ordinance, approved in February, made it easier for Honda and Red Bull to reach an agreement from of which the second will be in charge of the maintenance of the engines left by the first. To do this, the energy giant founded Red Bull Powertrains at the beginning of the year, the department that will be dedicated to the care of propellants, and which is even considering being able to project its own design with a view to 2025.

Far from settling for little, Red Bull has gone big, and as it transpired this Thursday by the runners of the paddock installed at the Montmeló circuit, the Milton Keynes team has stolen from Mercedes six fundamental pieces of the engine division that the star brand had at its Brixworth plant (Great Britain). The first and probably the most relevant piece was the hiring of Ben Hodgkinson, until now responsible for mechanical engineering for the Silver Arrows, announced a few days ago, and now joined by another five in strategic positions: Steve Blewett (production director ), Omid Mostaghimi (electronics and energy recovery system), Pip Clode (mechanical design), Anton Mayo (internal combustion) and Steve Bodie (operations of the internal combustion part). “Red Bull’s intention to bring together all the elements of the operations that F1 requires in Red Bull Powertrains is an enormously exciting project, but also extremely demanding, and we know that we will only succeed by attracting the best talent, the brightest. , and providing them with the right tools so that they can progress ”, declares Christian Horner, director of Red Bull and CEO of Powertrains part. “The signings we have announced this Thursday reflect our firm commitment to these goals,” adds the former driver and now executive.

Last week, from Portugal, Toto Wolff, Horner’s counterpart at Mercedes, resigned himself to the bleeding that he already sensed was going to be produced in his factory. “I suppose it was to be expected that this would happen, because we are talking about the offices being a battlefield like the track is,” acknowledged the Austrian. “It is part of the competition and something that you have to accept with sportsmanship”, Wolff riveted.

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