Red Bull hires ex-Mercedes head as engine technical director

Red Bull's new Formula 1 engine division has appointed one of Mercedes' senior figures as its new technical director.

Red Bull hires ex-Mercedes head as engine technical director

With the Milton Keynes-based team ramping up its efforts ahead of the takeover of Honda engines, long-time Mercedes employee Ben Hodgkinson will join the programme.

Hodgkinson has been head of mechanical engineering at Mercedes' High Performance Powertrains since 2017, having worked at the German manufacturer's Brixworth headquarters for 20 years.

No date has yet been set for Hodgkinson's switch to Red Bull, but he will have to see out his current contractual terms before being allowed to join.

Red Bull team principal and powertrains CEO Christian Horner said his signing was a coup for the company as it pushed on with its ambitious engine programme.

"We are delighted to welcome Ben to Red Bull Powertrains as technical director," he said. "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.

"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.

"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."

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Hodgkinson said it had been a tough call to leave Mercedes after so long, but he was excited about the challenge ahead.

"I'm extremely excited to be joining Red Bull Powertrains as technical director," he said.

"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 honour.

"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 together in this new phase of the company's journey."

Read Also:

Red Bull has begun construction of a new state-of-the-art factory in Milton Keynes for its new engine division.

Earlier this week, Horner made it clear that the company was on the look for the best staff possible for its new project.

"We will be applying exactly the same philosophy that we did to the chassis side," Horner told Autosport in an exclusive interview.

"So the intention, exactly as I did with the chassis, is to make sure we attract the right talent and the best talent."

shares
comments

Related video

Honda reveals development secrets of 2021 F1 engine

Previous article

Honda reveals development secrets of 2021 F1 engine

Next article

Vettel not beating himself up over Aston struggles

Vettel not beating himself up over Aston struggles
Load comments
Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly

The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph Plus

The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph

Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Plus

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Plus

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Plus

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break Plus

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break

OPINION: Formula 1 is about to break up for summer 2021, with the title battles finely poised. But it’s not just the latest round of Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton that will be worth watching this weekend in Hungary, as plenty of drivers are eying big results to change the stories of their seasons so far

Formula 1
Jul 28, 2021
How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Plus

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but 
flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021