Red Bull has hired Mercedes powertrain expert Ben Hodgkinson to be the technical director of their Red Bull Powertrains engine development department, which will take up the new position after the current contract expires.
After securing intellectual rights to use Honda engines and following the withdrawal of the Japanese manufacturer after 2021, Red Bull has established its own Red Bull Powertrains powertrain development department which will be based in the same complex as their chassis development headquarters.
Red Bull F1 team boss Christian Horner pointed out that their goal is to do the same thing they did with the chassis department when they entered Formula 1 in 2005, and that is to bring together the best experts to strengthen their team.
In addition to retaining a number of experts from Honda's F1 program, Red Bull today confirmed that it will bring in chief of mechanical engineering in Mercedes' High-Performance Powertrains department who has held the position since 2017 and has worked for Mercedes since 1995 after they entered Formula 1 as McLaren's engine supplier.
“We are thrilled to welcome Ben into the Red Bull Powertrains department in the role of CTO,” Horner said. "He comes to an extremely exciting project as a proven winner and innovator capable of leading a team of highly capable engineers."
"When Red Bull announced the establishment of the Red Bull Powertrains division, we also announced a new phase of our company's Formula 1 ambitions, which is to have every aspect of car design within our facilities and put our destiny in our hands."
"The ultimate expression of this is the development of the Red Bull drive unit to meet the rules for the new generation of F1 engines." "Ben's engagement signifies our long-term intentions, and we will give him and his team all the resources available to make it happen."
Hodgkinson is happy
Hodgkinson said it was not easy for him to decide to leave the world champions team after so many years and the success they had achieved together, but that he was drawn to the new challenge. “I am extremely excited to join Red Bull Powertrains as Technical Director,” Hodgkinson said.
"It wasn't easy to make the decision to leave High-Performance Powertrains after almost 20 years, but the opportunity to try myself in such a far-reaching and important project is a great honor." Red Bull wants to be ready for a new generation of powertrains that should be used in Formula 1 from 2025 and for the first time in their F1 history that began in 2005 they want to be an independent engine manufacturer after using Cosworth, Ferrari, Renault, and Honga enginees.
“We will apply exactly the same philosophy as in our chassis department,” Horner told Autosport. "The intention is, as with chassis development, to ensure we have the right and best people." “At the end of the day, Formula 1 is a team sport.
It's a people's sport. And that's one of the key reasons we're building our factory in the middle of the Milton Keynes campus. " "We want to make sure we have a seamless relationship between the chassis and engine compartments."