Verstappen: Understandable Mercedes staff want new F1 challenge with Red Bull

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 new F1 challenge with Red Bull

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.

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.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing in the Press Conference

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing in the Press Conference

Photo by: FIA Pool

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.

Read Also:

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 be part of it,” Verstappen said.

“We’ll see where it leads up to.”

shares
comments

Related video

Williams rear end issue hampered Russell’s Portimao F1 race
Previous article

Williams rear end issue hampered Russell’s Portimao F1 race

Next article

F1 drivers react to 2021 Barcelona track changes

F1 drivers react to 2021 Barcelona track changes
Why Albon won't be "throwing around laptops" to gain a 2023 F1 edge Plus

Why Albon won't be "throwing around laptops" to gain a 2023 F1 edge

OPINION: At the Williams 2023 Formula 1 season launch, Alex Albon’s easy-going nature was again a point of focus. But does being “too nice” really matter in modern F1? Albon’s own expressions put that in an intriguing new light

How the last Sauber-built Alfa offers F1 2023 evolution clues Plus

How the last Sauber-built Alfa offers F1 2023 evolution clues

Alfa Romeo has become the first Formula 1 team to reveal a new car for 2023, in addition to a fresh livery. This offered a first look at some of the understated changes produced by the revised regulations, along with points of convergence in the second year of the ground effect rules

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline Plus

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline

In the hands of Ayrton Senna the actively suspended 99T would be the last F1 race-winning Lotus but, as STUART CODLING reveals, it was a complicated machine that caused more problems than it solved

Formula 1
Feb 5, 2023
How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1 Plus

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

Formula 1’s transformation into a global sport meant the gradual extinction for a small team determined to stay true to its low-budget roots. But Tyrrell would eventually be reborn as a world-beating outfit again, explains MAURICE HAMILTON, albeit in different colours…

Formula 1
Feb 4, 2023
Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver Plus

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Many doubted Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula 1 season. But the journey he’s been on since has taken the Briton to new heights - and to a further six world championship titles

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era Plus

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

OPINION: With teams outside the top three having struggled in Formula 1 in recent seasons, the rules changes introduced in 2022 should have more of an impact this season. How well Haas does, as the poster child for the kind of team that F1 wanted to be able to challenge at the front, is crucial

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

Formula 1
Feb 1, 2023
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023