In an effort to hit the ground running with their new engine programme, after Honda announced they are leaving F1 at the end of the year, Red Bull have decided to appoint former Mercedes employee Ben Hodgkinson as their new techincal director for Red Bull Powertrains.

Hodgkinson has been head of mechanical engineering for Mercedes’ engine division since 2017, having worked with the team for 20 years. He is said to be switching to Red Bull after seeing out his current contractual terms with the German team.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner did not hold back on his excitement, saying: “We are delighted to welcome Ben to Red Bull Powertrains as Technical Director”.

“He comes to this hugely exciting project as a proven race winner and as an innovator capable of leading a like-minded team of highly skilled engineers,” he added.

“When Red Bull announced the creation of Red Bull Powertrains it was also announcing a new phase of the company’s ambition in F1 – to bring every aspect of car design in-house and to put our destiny in our own hands,” he said.

Horner also commented: “The ultimate expression of that is the development of a Red Bull power unit to meet the next generation of F1 engine regulations. Ben’s appointment signals our long-term intent and we will support him and his team with every available resource required in order to succeed.”

Saying that he’s excited about the challenge ahead, Hodgkinson said “I’m extremely excited to be joining Red Bull Powertrains as Technical Director.”

“It was not easy to make the decision to leave HPP after almost 20 years but the opportunity to take on such a far-reaching and important project is a great honor,” he added.

He continued: “Red Bull is a serious player in F1 and have been our biggest rival in the hybrid era, so I’m looking forward to seeing what we can achieve togheter in this new phase of the company’s journey.”

After starting the construction of the new factory in Milton Keynes, Red Bull’s Christian Horner pointed out that they are looking for the best staff possible for their new division.

“We will be applying exactly the same philosophy that we did to the chassis side (…) So the intention, exactly as I did with the chassis, is to make sure we attract the right talent and the best talent”, said Horner in an interview with Motorsport.com.

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