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Mercedes

Mercedes forced to 'change direction' by exodus to Red Bull

A number of engineers at High Performance Powertrains have moved to the Red Bull-Ford project.

Hamilton Silverstone
Article
To news overview © XPBimages

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."

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."

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