Red Bull and Mercedes in battle on track at Imola last weekend
“When Red Bull announced the creation of Red Bull Powertrains it was also announcing a new phase of the company’s ambition in Formula 1 – 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 1 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.”
Although Red Bull had downplayed speculation they might attempt to lure the former overall head of Mercedes’ world-beating engine project, Andy Cowell, to head up their new division, the capture of Hodgkinson is in itself a significant first key hire for their engine project.
“I’m extremely excited to be joining Red Bull Powertrains as technical director,” said 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 1 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.”
Mercedes and Red Bull are almost neck-and-neck in the nascent standings of this year’s world championship. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton leads Red Bull’s Max Verstappen by a single point after two races, while the reigning seven-time constructors’ champions hold a seven-point lead over their long-time rivals.
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