Horner hints at more ‘significant recruitment’ for RBPT

Henry Valantine
Christian Horner with Max Verstappen. Paul Ricard July 2022.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner speaks to Max Verstappen in the garage. France July 2022.

Christian Horner has said that Red Bull Powertrains have hired “more great talents”, with announcements set to come soon over their new arrivals.

Red Bull started producing their own power units at the beginning of the season, after buying the intellectual property from previous engine partners Honda to aid the transition into becoming their own factory team.

A brand new facility for the team’s power unit division was created in Milton Keynes and Red Bull since went on a hiring spree, which saw them poach multiple members of Mercedes’ engine operation.

This included the arrival of Ben Hodgkinson as technical director, who had been Mercedes’ head of mechanical engineering.

The Red Bull power unit, used by AlphaTauri as well as the senior team, has looked at least as competitive as their rivals, and the team principal has said more people have come through the door recently.

“I think that we’re in a great position,” Horner told Sky Sports F1 on Friday. “I think that you know, the team is very strong.

“Red Bull Powertrains is going [from] strength to strength, and we’ve recruited some more great talents and more announcements coming out soon, that some significant recruitments [are coming] into the team.

“And I think that, for us, we’re on a journey. Where that takes us in the future if we decide to take on a partner? Only time will tell,” he added, referencing reports that Porsche could be set to become equal partners with Red Bull from 2026 onwards.

“But I think, you know, we’re in great shape and looking forward to seeing exactly what these new regulations say on a sporting, a technical and, most importantly, financial basis.”

Porsche and Audi have long been in talks over joining Formula 1 once the 2026 engine regulations are finalised, though Porsche’s reported announcement was delayed after the rules were not fully confirmed at the last FIA World Motor Sport Council meeting at the end of June.

But Horner elaborated as to what assurances the manufacturers needed before they commit to signing up to get involved in Formula 1 and be competitive from the start.

“I think it’s not just Porsche, I think obviously probably Audi as well,” he explained.

“Coming into Formula 1 as a newcomer, particularly on the on the powertrain side, there’s discussions that are ongoing as to we have to have a glide path that we can get to a facility that matches decades of investment from our competitors.

“We want to make sure that we can play on a on a level playing field and that applies to Porsche, it applies to Audi and. of course, it applies very much to Red Bull, having made that commitment to enter as a power unit manufacturer.”


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