Red Bull Powertrains has announced the appointment of Mercedes AMG HPP's Head of Engineering, Ben Hodgkinson as its Technical Director.
As Technical Director, Hodgkinson will join Red Bull Powertrains in a key leadership role heading up all technical aspects with a key focus on developing Red Bull's inaugural power unit, to comply with the new Formula One regulations currently planned for 2025.
In the early stages of his career, Hodgkinson spent several years developing race engines for the World Rally Championship and designing turbo charged Le Mans engines before joining Ilmor Racing engines, now known as Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains.
After two decades with the business, he will leave his role as Head of Engineering and bring his wealth of experience and expertise to Red Bull Powertrains once the terms of his current contract with HPP are fulfilled.
The formation of the powertrain division represents Red Bull's single largest investment in F1 since the establishment of Red Bull Racing in 2005 and provides both Red Bull and Scuderia AlphaTauri with sporting autonomy as well as seamless integration of engine and chassis for the first time.
Based in the state-of-the-art, purpose-built power unit facility which is currently under construction at the heart of the Red Bull Technology Campus in Milton Keynes, Hodgkinson will lead the powertrain group with full integration into the chassis team to deliver future power units that enable Red Bull to compete for world championships.
"We are delighted to welcome Ben to Red Bull Powertrains as Technical Director," said Christian Horner. "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 Formula One – 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 Formula One 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."
"I'm extremely excited to be joining Red Bull Powertrains as Technical Director," added Hodgkinson. "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 Formula One 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."
Speaking at the weekend, Horner made clear he is seeking the best talent for the powertrains project.
"We will be applying exactly the same philosophy that we did to the chassis side," he told Motorsport.com. "So the intention, exactly as I did with the chassis, is to make sure we attract the right talent and the best talent.
"It's tremendously exciting," he said of the move, which will see the Austrian team follow the example of Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault (Alpine) in supplying the engines that power its own cars.
"Obviously with the engine freeze it was important as a safeguard for what will effectively be an interim period," he added. "But for the new engine, whenever that comes, potentially 2025, we're obviously building up a structure.
"We're going to inherit some great people and talent from Honda, but we are absolutely committed to getting the right people in the right roles in an efficient manner that integrates fully with the chassis side of the business."
Currently tending his garden, it's understood that Hodgkinson's contract with Mercedes concludes at the end of 2022.