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Red Bull "approached 100 people" says Wolff

NEWS STORY
08/05/2021

Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff has revealed that as it builds its powertrains division, Red Bull approached 100 members of his staff.

The revelation comes at the end of a week in which Red Bull Powertrains announced the addition of five senior members to its team, all of them from Mercedes, some of them having worked at Brixworth since the 1980s.

Talking to Sky Sports}, Christian Horner admitted that it was inevitable that some Mercedes employees might seek fresh pastures.

"I think there is an inevitability that obviously we're based in the UK, we're only 30 miles up the road from Brixworth where Mercedes have chosen to build their engines in the UK," he said. "And they've done that for a reason because the talent is within the UK.

"I think for us bringing the engines on site within the campus, fully integrating it with the chassis is tremendously appealing," he added.

"At the end of the day, you can't force someone to work where they don't want to be, and if we're an attractive place to be and people see that racing spirit and they want to be part of it, they're going to come on the journey.

"We've been very flattered by the amount of approaches that we've had," he admitted. "Of course, we're starting with a clean sheet of paper and it's important to get the right people in the right positions.

"Obviously, we've had quite a bit of success in attracting some fantastic talent on top of the talent that we will inherit from Honda when they depart at the end of the year."

At Mercedes, Toto Wolff played down the significance of what can only be described as defections.

"If you want to set up an engine factory in the UK, there is only one, and that is us," he said. "We have 900 or so employees there, and if we are fishing out 15 of these or so, that's pretty normal."

Claiming that Red Bull approached 100 people or so, and they got 15 maybe", he added: "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."

Asked about Helmut Marko's claim that Mercedes is doubling the salaries of staff who reject Red Bull's advances, 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.

"It is what it is," he added. "I respect everybody that wants to defend his business or build his business, and the retaliation time has not yet come."

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1. Posted by USA1, 08/05/2021 17:33

"Toto anytime a employee leaves you have to look in the mirror and ask yourself why did he leave, it doesn’t matter if other people try to get your employees, but if they leave it’s because something you did or didn’t do, no need to blame others for it!"

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