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Red Bull Powertrains "attracting great talent", says Horner

NEWS STORY
28/04/2021

While admitting that former Mercedes engine boss, Andy Cowell is to "pursue other interests", Christian Horner insists that Red Bull's new powertrain division is set announce other key signings.

Long before Ben Hodgkinson was appointed technical director at Red Bull's new powertrain division, many were speculating whether the Austrian company had targeted former HPP MD, Andy Cowell, whose decision to leave the German company was announced last June.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Christian Horner, while claiming that Powell has other interests to pursue, refuses to say whether he was ever actually on the Red Bull radar.

"Andy is a tremendously talented engineer, I think everything he's achieved in Formula 1 speaks for itself," says Horner. "But Andy is keen to pursue other activities, other ventures. Obviously that's his priority at this point in time.

"But we're attracting some great talent and looking forward to making some announcements in due course as we build this venture," adds Horner.

Referring to the recruitment of Hodgkinson, Horner said: "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.

"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 admitted.

"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."

Interestingly, Helmut Marko has said that Hodgkinson was eager to join Red Bull, and whilst suggesting that more Mercedes men could follow, claims that the German manufacturer is trying to delay the Briton's departure.

"The decisive thing is, we didn't have to persuade him at all," he tells F1-Insider. "Ben applied independently through our advertisement.

"Mercedes is now trying everything they legally can do to delay the start of his work," he adds. "But it won't take as long as Mercedes would like.

"He is not the only one who wants to join us," the Austrian continues. "There are also other high-profile figures, whose names I cannot yet give."

Finally, Marko appears to take a swipe at countryman, Toto Wolff.

"I know only one thing," he says. "If Niki Lauda were still alive, we would not have been able to do this."

Admitting that the move into powertrains is "probably the biggest investment Red Bull have made in Formula 1 since acquiring the team from Jaguar back in 2004", Horner says: "It's tremendously exciting for us," said Horner. "Here, we've created a campus and the latest addition to this campus is going to be bringing the engine business in-house here 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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