Verstappen: Understandable Mercedes staff want Red Bull challenge

Max Verstappen believes it is "understandable" that the Mercedes staff who have signed to join Red Bull’s new Formula 1 powertrains division are seeking a new challenge.

Verstappen: Understandable Mercedes staff want Red Bull challenge

Red Bull announced in February that it would be taking over the production of its power units from Honda at the end of the year, moving its engine operations in-house in anticipation of the next rules cycle in 2025.

The team has since been on a hiring spree for its engine division, including the signing of Mercedes High Performance Powertrains head of mechanical engineering Ben Hodgkinson, who will be Red Bull Powertrains' technical director.

Red Bull announced on Thursday that it had signed a further five Mercedes staff members to join its new powertrains division.

Read Also:

The transfer of staff between the two teams comes against the backdrop of their title fight this year, with Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen separated by just eight points in the drivers' standings.

Verstappen said he found the movements "interesting", but that it was "quite normal" for staff to look for fresh challenges after being with one team for such a long time.

"When a team has been so dominant for such a long time, you will try to get those kinds of people," Verstappen said. "But also I think it's an interesting new project to be part of, from our side. When people are in the same place for a long time, I think sometimes they want to seek new challenges.

"I think that's understandable."

Although Red Bull has not ruled out the possibility of working with an external manufacturer when the new power unit regulations begin in 2025, it is currently laying plans to design and produce the power unit itself.

Red Bull F1 boss Christian Horner has previously spoken about how it gives the team full control of its destiny, ensuring both the car and power unit are designed under one roof.

Asked if he was excited by what Red Bull's powertrain development meant for the future, Verstappen said it was "great to see".

"Of course we talk about it within the team and it's a very exciting future, where of course I want to want to be part of it," Verstappen said. "We'll see of course where it leads up to."

World champion Hamilton said he was unsurprised rival teams are hiring Mercedes' staff.

"It's not something that I [put much time] particularly towards," he said. "There's obviously all this that's in the background and I think I've got the best ally with Toto [Wolff, Mercedes motorsport boss], who will be working to manage it in the best way possible.

"Without doubt, every individual that's in our team is amazing and it's not a surprise that everybody will want them. We've had a lot of success together.

"If there are people that have moved on, I wish them all the best. We all have to go through our own journeys and make our own decisions, which are right for us. But this is a huge team – it's a big team and it's not about one individual. Or even five. It's about a collective.

"And we've got an amazing collective group of people that still remains solid and focused on winning this championship."

shares
comments

Related video

Can F1's standout performer of 2021 keep up his charge?
Previous article

Can F1's standout performer of 2021 keep up his charge?

Next article

Verstappen: Mercedes still holds F1 energy deployment advantage

Verstappen: Mercedes still holds F1 energy deployment advantage
Load comments
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021