Apr.28 (GMM) Mercedes is “trying everything” to delay Ben Hodgkinson’s move to head up the new Red Bull engine program, according to Dr Helmut Marko.
Hodgkinson has been at Mercedes for two decades, but Red Bull has managed to poach him so that he can be Red Bull Powertrains’ first technical director.
However, reports suggest he may be on ‘gardening leave’ until the very end of 2022 – or even longer.
“Mercedes is now trying everything it can legally to delay him starting work,” Marko told f1-insider.com. “But it won’t take as long as they would like.
“The decisive factor is that we didn’t have to poach him at all. He replied to our advertisement all on his own,” the Austrian added.
“And he’s not the only one who wants to be with us – there are also other top-class players whose names I cannot yet say. All I can say is that we would not have succeeded in this if Niki Lauda was still alive,” Marko quipped.
However, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner insists that former Mercedes engine chief Andy Cowell is not among the Red Bull-bound defectors.
What he did say is that taking over Honda’s engine program with a new company and facility at Milton Keynes is “arguably the biggest investment Red Bull has made in Formula 1 since taking over Jaguar”.