Mercedes are offering “double the salary” to persuade their engine staff to stay, says Helmut Marko, but six have already joined Red Bull.
Creating the ‘Red Bull Powertrain’ division to run their Honda engines in 2022, and design their own power unit in the years to come, Red Bull began a staff drive.
And they did their shopping at Mercedes.
The team first announced Ben Hodgkinson as their engine technical director, before confirming another five signings in the build-up to the Spanish Grand Prix. A seventh, Red Bull’s new head of mechanical development, will be announced in the coming weeks.
Mercedes, at least according to Marko, are desperate to keep their staff from leaving and are offering “double” salaries to persuade them to stay.
At least six, maybe seven, haven’t been swayed by the big-bucks offers.
“Red Bull is a passionate racing team,” Marko, Red Bull’s advisor, told Motorsport-Magazin. “Everything all in one house.
“Mercedes offers people who come to us double the salary if they stay. We don’t.”
Red Bull’s shopping list has been aided by its close proximity to Mercedes’ Brackley headquarters.
“We certainly benefit from the fact that our campus is in England, where we have access to a great deal of talent in engineering,” said team boss Christian Horner.
“All the executives announced bring a lot of experience and expertise and innovation for the Red Bull Powertrains program and offer us the best possible technical platform for the future.”
Max Verstappen was asked about Red Bull’s move to sign more and more of Mercedes’ championship-winning engine staff.
As he pointed out, it’s “normal” for personnel to move between teams.
“Interesting, but normal,” he told Formule1.nl. “I think it is also an interesting project for people because it is new.
“If you have been somewhere for a long time, sometimes you look for a new challenge. That’s normal.”