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Red Bull lure experienced engineer away from Mercedes to head up new powertrains division

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MILTON KEYNES, ENGLAND - JANUARY 22: A general view of the Red Bull Racing Factory on January 22,

Red Bull have announced their first big signing to their all-new engine department, with the recruitment of Ben Hodgkinson as Technical Director from reigning world champions Mercedes.

When Honda decided to leave F1 at the end of 2021, Red Bull decided to form their own engine division – Red Bull Powertrains – initially using Honda technology to carry them through to the end of 2024 before creating their own power unit for 2025 when a new formula is introduced.

ANALYSIS: Why Red Bull's swoop for new engine boss is such a huge statement of intent

Hodgkinson joins Red Bull with almost 20 years of experience with Mercedes, whose power unit has dominated the hybrid turbo era, and where he had risen to Head of Mechanical Engineering in their engine division.

Red Bull say he will lead the power train group “with full integration into the chassis team to deliver future power units that enable Red Bull to compete for world championships”.

His start date is yet to be announced, as he fulfils his current contract with Mercedes HPP, but when he joins, his key focus will be on the engine Red Bull plan to introduce in 2025.

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

Christian Horner, Red Bull Team Principal

“We are delighted to welcome Ben to Red Bull Powertrains as Technical Director,” said Red Bull boss 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 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.”

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Hodgkinson added: “I’m extremely excited to be joining Red Bull Powertrains as Technical Director. 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.”

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