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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
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."

F1 2023 British Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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