There is a growing sense of concern at Mercedes regarding the departure of Ben Hodgkinson to Red Bull Racing. The problem is not just regarding Hodgkinson’s departure though. He is believed to have had conversations with many other Mercedes employees, looking to rope them in with him.
Red Bull is set to develop its own engine soon following an announcement earlier this year. This came on the back of Honda’s decision to quit the sport following the ongoing season.
Hodgkinson’s recruitment was largely to spearhead this plan as Red Bull is set to introduce its own engine in 2025. There is, of course, an engine freeze till that time, but small adjustments can be made.
With over 20 years of experience working at Mercedes, Hodgkinson will prove pivotal in this respect.
“Mercedes is seeing a strategic man leave and very soon – well before the autumn of 2022 when Hodgkinson can formally take his place in the company – Red Bull will know all about the German power sources that have dominated Formula 1 since 2014,“ a report in Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport states.
It is natural that this would give Mercedes plenty to think about. Hodgkinson can start working on the Red Bull engine at the end of 2022. He will need to serve a ‘gardening leave’ till then.
Essentially, this is a rule laid out by FIA that prevents sensitive information being passed from one team to another by employees.
It is impossible to guess just when this information will be passed on to Red Bull, but the Austrian outfit will soon get a pretty clear picture about the German power sources that have seen the Silver Arrows dominate the sport.