Mercedes F1 team principal Toto Wolff revealed Red Bull only managed to recruit a small amount out of the 100 Mercedes engine staff members they initially contacted.
As Honda is leaving the sport, Red Bull will be left alone to develop their engines for the coming seasons. The Austrian squad will work on a continuation of their current Power Unit under a new brand called Red Bull Powertrains, which was established at the Red Bull Racing HQ.
Because of this, Red Bull went hunting for the most experienced mechanical engineers to work on this new approach. Toto Wolff has revealed the Milton Keynes-based team contacted 100 of its engine staff members, but only managed to recruit 15.
“It’s pretty obvious that if you want to set up an engine factory in the UK, there’s only one and that’s us,” Wolff told Sky. “We have 900 or so employees there. And if you’re fishing out 15 of these or so, that’s pretty normal.
“But they went mainly after manufacturing staff so it’s not really [for] performance. I guess they want to build up the company. But credit to the project, it’s a Mount Everest to climb and I’d like to have a fight with Red Bull power unites.
“I think they have approached 100 people or so, and they got 15, maybe.”
Helmut Marko had said Mercedes offered some members double the salaries in order to encourage them to stay, and Wolff did not deny that. But he hints Red Bull’s offers have gone past what the Silver Arrows awarded.
“Doubling the salaries is one thing but if you triple them, at a certain stage, you’re not going to compete anymore, even for loyal people.
“But it is what it is. I respect everybody that wants to defend his business or build their business and retaliation time has not yet come.”