Wolff: Red Bull approached 100 Mercedes F1 engine staff

Toto Wolff says Red Bull approached around 100 Mercedes staff over a move to its new Formula 1 engine division after announcing a raft of recent signings.

Wolff: Red Bull approached 100 Mercedes F1 engine staff

Red Bull revealed in February that it would be forming its own power unit arm, known as Red Bull Powertrains, that would take over the existing Honda engine IP upon the Japanese manufacturer’s F1 exit at the end of the year.

Red Bull is making plans to produce and develop its own power unit in-house upon the next generation of engines in 2025, led by technical director Ben Hodgkinson, who will join from Mercedes High Performance Powertrains.

A further five Mercedes staff members were named on Thursday as new signings for Red Bull Powertrains, with their moves coming against the backdrop of the two teams fighting for this year’s world championship.

Mercedes F1 boss Wolff said he felt no frustration over the moves, adding it was “pretty obvious” where the talent would lie for an engine division being established in the UK.

“If you want to set up an engine factory in the UK, there is only one, and that is us,” Wolff said on Sky Sports F1.

“We have 900 or so employees there, and if we are fishing out 15 of these or so, that’s pretty normal.

“But they went mainly after manufacturing staff, so it’s not really performance. I guess they want to build up the company.

“But credit to the project, it’s a Mount Everest to climb. I’d like to have a fight with Red Bull power units.”

Wolff went on to reveal that Red Bull has “in all approached 100 people or so, and they got 15 maybe.”

Read Also:

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko was quoted in the German press recently saying that Mercedes was doubling the salary of staff members who turned down a move.

Asked if such an offer was the only way to counter the approaches, Wolff replied: “Doubling the salaries is one thing, but if you triple them, at a certain stage, you’re not going to compete any more, even for loyal people.

“But it is what it is. I respect everybody that wants to defend his business or build his business, and the retaliation time has not yet come.”

Red Bull F1 boss Christian Horner said earlier on Friday that it was an “inevitability” Mercedes staff would be approached given the proximity of the team to its rival’s engine headquarters.

shares
comments

Related video

Spanish GP: Hamilton tops FP2 from Bottas, Leclerc

Previous article

Spanish GP: Hamilton tops FP2 from Bottas, Leclerc

Next article

Hamilton 'amazed' by McLaren, Ferrari F1 progress

Hamilton 'amazed' by McLaren, Ferrari F1 progress
Load comments
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Prime

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers Prime

How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory Prime

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Prime

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021
Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems Prime

Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton dominated the opening day of action for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, on the Istanbul circuit’s much improved track surface. But the Black Arrows squad’s position isn’t quite what it seems. Here’s why...

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021
The rise and fall of Lotus as an F1 superpower Prime

The rise and fall of Lotus as an F1 superpower

On 8 October 1961, Innes Ireland claimed victory at the United States Grand Prix to herald the true arrival of a new Formula 1 giant. While Team Lotus endured plenty of highs and lows until the team folded over three decades later, Colin Chapman's squad made F1 history and helped shape the championship.

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021