Money, comfort and freedom: Why Mercedes employees are jumping ship to join Red Bull

The backbone of any Formula 1 car is its engine. This highly complex piece of engineering can make or break a race.

Currently, there are four engine suppliers on the grid. These include Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda.

Honda, who is known to supply engines to Red Bull and AlphaTauri, will be leaving the sport considering their ambitions to become climate-neutral by 2050.

The other three suppliers have their own Formula 1 team and will be around in the sport for a while.

For Red Bull, this would have meant that they would have to source their engine from one of the three remaining suppliers. The team, however, has no interest in becoming a customer.

As a result, Red Bull Powertrains, Red Bull’s engine division was set up in Milton Keynes.

Here, the outfit plans on creating a new engine from scratch and also maintaining its existing Honda engine till 2025. For this project, they put out notices looking to hire staff for prominent positions.

The first big name to join Red Bull is Ben Hodgkinson, who will be jumping ship from Mercedes. The Silver Arrows are not happy about this and moving ahead with all their legal resources to try and delay this transfer.

Helmut Marko has also confirmed that after Hodgkinson at least four other distinguished figures will be making the switch from Mercedes. He cannot reveal their names yet, but with time, the cat will be out of the bag.

There are several reasons for so many wanting to change teams.

The primary reason is that Red Bull will be working on the engine from scratch. This gives the staff room to play. Also, one can expect Red Bull to invest heavily on the project and salaries so money is not going to run out.

What is surprising is that the new Red Bull factory is just 50 kilometers from the Mercedes’ factory. This will also ensure that employees previously from Mercedes will not have to relocate. Their families can stay put and their children can keep going to the same schools.

Finally, engine suppliers are also going to be facing a budget cap. This is another reason why Mercedes’ employees do not mind making the switch.

The general consensus says that the cost of engines have increased dramatically over the years. Therefore, a budget cap plan just like the one introduced this year is being worked on.

This budget cap would just mean that Mercedes will be making cuts to the engine staff. This could be a major prompt for these employees to switch teams.

Red Bull seems to be on track to attack Mercedes both on and off the circuit.

Has the time come for Red Bull to be the dominant force in this sport? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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