Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Imola, 2021

More Mercedes staff move to Red Bull Powertrains

2021 F1 season

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Red Bull’s new Powertrains division has announced five further appointments, all of which have prior experience working on world champions Mercedes’ power units.

Four of the new members of staff announced today by Red Bull Powertrains are employees at Mercedes-Benz High Performance Powertrains, which produces the power units which have dominated Formula 1’s V6 hybrid turbo era. They are Steve Blewett, who will be Red Bull’s power unit production director, head of powertrains electronics and ERS Omid Mostaghimi, head of mechanical design ERS Pip Clode and group leader of ICE operations Steve Brodie.

Anton Mayo, a freelance employee who also has experience of working at Mercedes, has joined Red Bull Powertrains as its head of power unit design for ICE.

They will join technical director Ben Hodgkinson, who was previously head of mechanical engineering at Mercedes-Benz HPP, whose appointment was announced last month.

Red Bull Powertrains has been set up to run the team’s Honda power unit after the manufacturer leaves F1 at the end of the season. It also plans to develop its own Red Bull-branded power unit for the new regulations to be introduced in 2025.

“Red Bull’s mission to bring all aspects of its Formula 1 operations in-house through Red Bull Powertrains is an enormously exciting undertaking but also an extremely demanding one,” said Red Bull CEO Christian Horner.

“We know that success will only be achieved by bringing in the best and brightest talent, by providing them with the right tools and by creating the right environment in which they can thrive. Today’s key leadership team appointments demonstrate our strong commitment to those goals and we certainly benefit from our campus being located in the UK where we have access to a huge wealth of engineering talent.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...

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39 comments on “More Mercedes staff move to Red Bull Powertrains”

  1. Pretty exciting stuff. I wonder how it works regarding IP post 2025. It’s great that they’ll be a fully fledged constructor including engine. Like Judd all over again.

  2. 2013 vibes, when Mercedes hired every technical director around, and had like 5 of them at the same time.

    1. @fer-no65 And oh how we laughed at the time!

      1. Ahah, had no idea, sounds fun.

  3. ian dearing
    6th May 2021, 10:53

    Not surprising. It was reported in a few places that the initial Hodgkinson appointment was predicated on him seeking to encourage others from Mercedes to join RB. And if you are seeking these skills the obvious place is next door to RB.
    One of the benefits of working in Motorsport Valley, you have a choice of about 4,000 different companies to work for, and you don’t have to uproot your family every time you make a career move.

    1. Anders Johansson
      6th May 2021, 13:07

      Exactly! That cluster is why teams located alone, like Ferrari and Sauber, will have an ever increasing hard time competing. Their employees has to uproot their families to change employer.

  4. Ill laugh myself silly, if Red Bull can get Mario Ilien.

    Reply moderated
  5. I’d guess if Max has any sense he’ll be angling to stay at Red Bull for a considerable time. A move to Mercedes should Hamilton eventually step down doesn’t look quite as enticing now.

    1. @davidhunter13 Pretty much a given at this point, I assume. To Max’s credit, he has been as loyal to Red Bull as Red Bull has been to him, with two early long-term contract extensions. I don’t think we’ll see him leaving that team until at least the end of the decade at this point.

      1. End of the decade? That sounds extreme, I’d say anything later than 2025 is a wild guess.

    2. Oeps clicked report comment insteand of comment.

      During a interview Max Verstappen insists he wants to stay at Red Bull ‘for a very long time’ as he hunts down maiden F1 title.

  6. So, all of this quite clearly shows that the announcement that Andy Cowell would be working on something else within Mercedes was a bit of a defensive move within mercedes (saying: they offered him a big sum of money to go and have fun with something in order to avoid him being lured over to RB)?

  7. The trickle becomes a flood. Soon half of Stuttgart will relocate to Milton Keynes. Then they’ll find out it’s a dump….

    1. They are already based in Brixworth which is less than an hour drive from Milton Keynes :)

      1. Indeed, but the wider Mercedes community won’t want to be left out..

  8. Frank Chong
    6th May 2021, 11:46

    2023 will going to be exciting to see what RB PU will be.

    1. You mean 2025 i hope…

  9. If the budget cap means Red Bull can now invest in it’s own PU, I’m all for it

  10. John Ballantyne
    6th May 2021, 11:57

    Enticing enough to win championship in 2023 and maybe ’24 as well.

  11. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
    6th May 2021, 12:06

    Starting 2022 will be the complete freeze for power output until a new engine is developed for 2025/6.

    These people in theory will be twiddling their thumbs, sharpening their pencils in anticipation of receiving the new regulations for the PU.

    All along (in other places) I have called BS on Horner not being in a position to do any development work.

    1. “All along (in other places) I have called BS on Horner not being in a position to do any development work”

      So have I. It was obvious. The question is how can they do it under the budget cap? For each one high salary engineer you fire 5 low ranking slobs? You’re going to end up with a top heavy organization. Are the newbies expected to clean their own toilets? (replace the janitors fired to make room for them)?
      And yes ,BasCB, MB pulled an Adian Newy on Andy Cowell. Gave him a super car to build or some thing ;)

      1. Motor manufacturer are not a part of the Budget as it’s a separate company.

        1. Still it is the same people, the same owner, who pretended not having the means to do any development that are now willing to accept huge losses. I don’t believe they can come even on twenty engines/year considering the up front investments and subsequent development. Wasn’t there a maximum “engine spend” under the budget cap? I think I read something about it awhile ago?

  12. You know what they say: “Go big or go home!”.

  13. Recruiting successful engineers from a successful team doesn’t guarantee success in a new team. See Paddy Lowe and others.

    1. Recruiting the whole team does raise the odes.

      1. The odes, how poetic

    2. Paddy Lowe spent his entire F1 management career riding on the coat tails of others….it was no surprise to see him fail at Williams…the only surprise was that it happened so fast!

      1. Did Paddy really fail?
        Or was Williams already dead and they just forgot to call it in?

        Reply moderated
    3. As @Carbonized says hiring a team is going make the succes rate much higher.

      Paddy Lowe didn’t make it because of the money Williams didn’t had … That is what Red Bull has plenty of.

    4. Recruiting key people the way RBR are doing now will surely cause Mercedes some headaches by forcing them to seek replacements for those who departed which will also not guarantee success. Besides, I don’t think Paddy Lowe is a successful engineer, he’s got lucky working in successful teams and then was exposed when he joined Williams.

  14. Is there any historical precedent for a team taking ownership of an engine and developing it in-house? Honda put a lot of money and hundreds of staff into developing their engine, building it to their own design philosophy. Unless they hire the right people and spend a lot of money working out how to evolve a high performing engine as it is, I fear a lot of Red bull engines going bang in 2022.

    1. A few Japanese Honda guys have bee embedded into the new RB powertrain team Honda is not leaving them high and dry.

    2. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      6th May 2021, 13:11

      Honda stated they would do one more round of development work to optimise the 2021 PU for the 2022 fuel. This in theory is the last update.

      It will then be the time to develop a brand new PU for 2025/6.

  15. Pip Clode

    Is that a real name? 😀

  16. Could this be a sign Mercedes has plans to quit F1? Finding a new place before your job is gone.

    Reply moderated
  17. Announce Andy Cowell already! ;-)

  18. Could RB be angling to supply more teams on the grid in future?

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