Mercedes High Performance Powertrains Managing Director Hywel Thomas has conceded the exodus of staff to Red Bull's equivalent operation caused a 'change of direction'.
Red Bull has partnered with Ford on its newly-established journey of entering F1 as an OEM [Original Equipment Manufacturer] to join Mercedes, Ferrari, Alpine [Renault], Audi and Honda as power unit providers from 2026.
The Milton Keynes-based outfit's powertrains facility is fully operational with testing already underway and as part of its push for success, Red Bull underwent an aggressive recruitment strategy.
During that process, a large number of staff made the move from Mercedes' highly-successful HPP plant to tackle the new project and asked how big an impact that has had on the Silver Arrows, Thomas told media, including RacingNews365.com: "It has been a big change for us that we have got a competitor down the road.
"It hasn't been since the early-2000s when Cosworth was in Northampton, that we have had two manufacturers close together.
"They [Red Bull] have undoubtedly hired other people and some of them have come from our place.
"There is no secret and no problem with that - people want to move on with their careers and become involved in different projects."
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Incredibly strong project group
On how Mercedes has overcome the changes, Thomas added: "We have had plenty of good people join us to replace those people that have left, we have really strong people promoted within the organisation and we have got a really, incredibly strong project group that I am sure is going to be very successful.
"It caused us to change direction with some things we were doing with recruitment and things, but we have always had a strong pipeline of graduates, we have always had a strong pipeline of young, enthusiastic engineers coming through the system.
"We have just accelerated some of that and that sprinkling of people from outside that we have always done."