Red Bull’s ambitious project to build its engine inside its factory, something that only Ferrari does in Formula 1, is starting to take shape. And their main target is rival Mercedes: as they are the ones who also have an engine factory in England, Red Bull is investing heavily to attract its workforce. On Mercedes’ side, boss Toto Wolff also raised doubts that Red Bull was spreading secrets from current partner Honda, which would leave the range at the end of 2022.
The race against time for Red Bull is of the necessary structure to build its own engine from 2025, when the development freeze, which runs from 2022 to the end of 2024, ends. Meanwhile, they continue with the Honda engine.
Last year, the transformation of building No. 8 at the team’s factory in Milton Keynes began to become the headquarters of a team’s engine division, when it debuted in F1 in 2005, not seen as serious. How can an energy drink company develop its own F1 car? But they were hiring great aerodynamic minds like Adrian Newey and Mechanics and won four championships between 2010 and 2013. They stopped winning only when the engines became a significant performance difference – their development was frozen before 2014, the same way it would be 2022 – and Mercedes got the place.
Now, it is fair to say that his ambition is to become Mercedes, even though it is still an energy drink company.
Not that this was the ideal approach for him: attracting an automaker who is not yet in F1, as Red Bull does not want to return to being a rival’s customer, as it did with Renault until 2018, still Is seen as a possibility. . And it is from here that Wolfe hints that Red Bull is leaking Honda’s intellectual property, which he acquired to start his project to Volkswagen. Advisor Helmut Marco strongly denied this.
“This is nonsense, it will not be fair and it is not in our plans. With the current rules, we are responsible for this engine. But the fact is that we are open to future partnerships, so that they keep the name on the engine.” Or more. It is also possible and desirable to keep our costs within limits. But whether it will be an automaker or another company is something that is completely open at the moment, “Marco said.
What Red Bull is doing is preparing for the worst case scenario: building the engine inside its factory and bearing all the costs. And, as it is to spend, it is best to seek out the specialized labor that led the team to focus on Mercedes, which manufactures its engines in Brixworth less than an hour from the company’s headquarters. In Red Bull, Milton Keynes.
Therefore, it is not surprising that the team went in search of talent in the rival that, in addition to the “neighbors” (other F1 engine factories are in France, Italy and Japan) own the power unit that dominated the category.
“It is very clear that if you want to set up an engine factory in the UK, there is only one, and it is ours,” Wolff said. “We have about 900 employees, and they were looking for more production people, not demonstrators.”
This does not seem completely true. According to Marco, ten of the professional mercenaries were in high positions at Mercedes. Some names are known: Ben Hodgkinson will be the new technical director of Red Bull Powertrain. Steve Blewett will be the production director, Omid Mostaghimi will be head of electronics for power units and energy recovery systems, Pip Clode will be the head of mechanical design for hybrid systems, Anton Mayo will take care of the combustion engine design, and Steve Brody will also be the group for the combustion engine. Will be the leader of However, some of these professionals will only be able to join Red Bull in 2023 for contractual reasons.
In Wolff’s accounts, Red Bull offered about 100 Mercedes employees and took about 15. Marco said that the Germans were trying to hold on to their employees by doubling their staff salaries, but Wolfe responded by saying that Red Bull went further to the offering. “Doubling wages is one thing, but if you triple them, it’s not a question of loyalty. But I give credit to this project. It’s a Mount Everest they are trying to climb.” The battle going on on the tracks this season is also in full swing outside of them.