Red Bull reveal succession plan after McLaren poach key member of staff

Oliver Harden
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen runs in FP2. Barcelona June 2023.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen during FP2 in Spain. Barcelona June 2023.

Red Bull will seek to promote from within following the loss of key figure Rob Marshall to F1 rivals McLaren, technical director Pierre Wache has revealed.

McLaren rocked F1 last month by confirming the appointment of Marshall as their new “engineering and design” technical director in the latest development in the team’s restructure in light of a disappointing start to the 2023 season.

Marshall will join McLaren after a highly successful 17-year stint at Red Bull, which saw the team grow from so-called party team to World Champions with Sebastian Vettel in 2010.

He played an instrumental role during Vettel’s run of four consecutive title triumphs, with Marshall also assisting the team’s return to World Championship glory with Max Verstappen following a troubled start to F1’s hybrid era in 2014.

Red Bull are going in search of their 100th F1 victory at this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix, with Verstappen the winner of 30 of the last 51 races stretching back to the start of his maiden title-winning season in 2021.

Speaking in Montreal, Wache admitted Marshall’s exit is a “big loss” to Red Bull, who are set on offering opportunities to junior members within the team rather than pursuing a high-profile successor.

He told Formula 1: “It’s affecting quite a lot, especially for the concept of the car. That was his main area [over] the last few years.

“He’s a big change for the team and big loss but you cannot stop people moving because it’s how it is and he’s also given a chance to the young ones that have big shoes to fill.” recommends

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Pressed further if promoting from within will become Red Bull’s modus operandi going forward, Wache pointed to the restraints of F1’s cost cap and the need to create a pathway to reward talented youngsters.

He said: “Yes, for sure. It’s important.

“We have massive talent inside the team [and it] is important to promote them. It’s difficult days now because with the budget cap you cannot create more costs and more costs and more costs.

“But it’s important that the people creating the success, that is the young people in the team, are promoted inside the team.”

Following the announcement of Marshall’s move to McLaren, Red Bull issued a statement paying tribute to his impact on the team’s success.

Team principal Christian Horner said: “We would like to thank Rob for everything he has done for the team over the past 17 years. His work on the generation of cars that gave us four incredible championship doubles between 2010 and 2013 was truly outstanding.

“In the years since he has continued to be a key figure at the team and in 2016 took on the broader role of Chief Engineering Officer which has seen him involved in other projects across the business.

“His influence will be missed but once again we thank him for all he has done and wish him the very best in his new role.”