Mercedes Acknowledge Major Red Bull F1 Boost Amid Newly Built Powertrain Department

Published 01/22/2022, 1:18 AM EST
Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 24, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton leads into the first corner at the start of the race ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen REUTERS/Mike Blake

Earlier in 2021, Red Bull Racing left their rivals, Mercedes, scrambling for engineers after the former went on a signing rampage to manage their newly built power train department in Milton Keynes. Tens of Mercedes employees quit their jobs to join the energy drink outfit, which caused a rupture in the functioning of Silver Arrows.

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One of the biggest heists that Red Bull managed was Ben Hodgkinson, head of mechanical engineering at Mercedes AMG High-Performance Powertrains. Earlier in April 2021, the Austrian outfit announced that they’d managed to impress Hodgkinson enough to bring him to their home base.

However, ‘when?’ had always been the question, as he was then still under contract with Mercedes. Hence, after months of talks, Red Bull and Mercedes have finally agreed to complete the deal which will officially take place later this year.

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When will Ben Hodgkinson move to Red Bull?

As reported by The Straits Times, the Silver Arrows have agreed to let the engine expert move to Red Bull in May 2022. This is certainly big news for Red Bull considering Hodgkinson had been playing one of the major roles in Mercedes’s V6 era glory.

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 12, 2021 Red Bull team members celebrate after Max Verstappen won the race and the world championship REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Hence, with the Briton now shifting to Red Bull in the coming months, there are chances that he could replicate Mercedes’ success at the Christian Horner-led outfit as well.

Come May, Hodgkinson will become the technical director of Red Bull’s own powertrain department.

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Mercedes release statement on the deal

The Brackley outfit revealed the Hodgkinson move through a statement that acknowledged he would be taking up the role of technical director at Red Bull from 24 May 2022.

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Formula One F1 – Mexico City Grand Prix – Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Mexico City, Mexico – November 7, 2021 Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in action during the race REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

Mercedes F1 and Red Bull today reached an agreement regarding the appointment of Ben Hodgkinson. Under the terms of that agreement, Ben who joined Mercedes in August 2001, will be free to join Red Bull Powertrains from 24 May 2022,” the Mercedes F1 statement read.

Overall, these are promising signs for Red Bull despite Honda’s departure from Formula One. From almost looking hopeless in the latter part of 2020 to becoming a title favorite in 2022, Red Bull have managed to defy the odds to come a long way. So, are Red Bull set to become the first constructor’s champion of the hybrid era after Mercedes?

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Rohit Kumar

1880 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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