Toto Wolff believes Andy Cowell has no interest in joining Red Bull Powertrains because he sees his future outside of Formula 1.
Cowell was instrumental in Mercedes’ development of the V6 hybrid engines introduced in 2014, but chose to exit their Brixworth HQ last July without having another project lined up.
Speculation has inevitably linked him to Red Bull Powertrains, the new engine operation being set up in Milton Keynes by the Austrian energy drink giant due to Honda’s forthcoming exit from F1 at the end of this year.
Red Bull Powertrains have already plundered 15 staff members from Mercedes, according to Wolff, having approached around 100 – with their recruits including Ben Hodgkinson, who has been appointed technical director.
But they will not be joined by Cowell, according to Mercedes F1 co-owner and team principal Wolff, who is still in contact with the 52-year-old Blackpool-born engineer.
“I talk to him regularly and he still wants to do other things – things that make him not only known for his Formula 1 activities,” Wolff told reporters, adding that sustainability initiatives are high on Cowell’s agenda.
“He has exciting ideas about that and, moreover, he has always indicated to us that if he wanted to continue working in Formula 1, he would have stayed with Mercedes.”
Wolff’s words backed up what his Red Bull counterpart Christian Horner said recently when asked about the possibility of Cowell becoming a colleague of his.
“Andy is a tremendously talented engineer, I think everything he’s achieved in Formula 1 speaks for itself,” said Horner.
“What he’s achieved obviously in the recent 10 years of the sport has been mightily impressive. He was obviously a lynchpin of what Mercedes and HPP have delivered. As far as engines are concerned, he’s been the guy that has delivered year on year.
“But Andy is keen to pursue other activities, other ventures outside of Formula 1. Obviously that’s his priority at this point in time.
“But we are attracting some great talent and looking forward to making some [more] announcements in due course as we build this venture.”