Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says ex-Mercedes engine guru Andy Cowell won’t be joining his former HPP colleague Ben Hodgkinson at Red Bull Powertrains.
Red Bull’s new dedicated engine department that is in the process of being set up at Milton Keynes, recently announced its first high-profile hiring, with Hodgkinson moving to the new unit.
Red Bull has ramped up its head-hunting efforts to recruit additional engineering talent but Cowell, the man in large part behind the outstanding success of Mercedes’ hybrid power unit in F1 and who left HPP in Brixworth at the end of last season, is an unlikely prospect to fill a role at Red Bull.
“Andy is a tremendously talented engineer, I think everything he’s achieved in Formula 1 speaks for itself,” Horner told Sky. “But Andy is keen to pursue other activities, other ventures.
“Obviously, that’s his priority at this point in time. But we are attracting some great talent and looking forward to making some announcements in due course as we build this venture.”
Once Red Bull committed to establishing its own engine department, targeting Mercedes personnel was an obvious plan, although one that would predictably upset the top brass at Brackley.
“Obviously Mercedes have done such a wonderful job, not just the last seven years with the hybrid era but also the years before that with the V8 [engines],” Horner explained.
“Of course, you do your due diligence, you look around at what is the talent, we have so much of that here based in the UK and Ben’s name absolutely came to the fore.
“He was an obvious candidate for us, and I was absolutely delighted when he agreed to join the team for this exciting new chapter in Red Bull’s history in Formula 1.”
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Horner said that establishing Red Bull Powertrains at Milton Keynes “was probably the biggest investment Red Bull have made in Formula 1 since acquiring the team from Jaguar back in 2004”.
“It’s tremendously exciting for us,” he said. “We’ve created a campus and the latest addition to this campus will be bringing the engine business in-house in Milton Keynes, building a brand-new bespoke facility to house some of the best engineering talent in the business with a key focus on the future regulations.
“It gives a chance to fully integrate the powertrain into the chassis side of the business as well.
“Other than Ferrari, the only team to have engine and chassis all produced, manufactured, designed under one roof.”
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