Red Bull Powertrains has confirmed the first appointment to its new division as they look to move every aspect of car design in-house.
Mercedes engineer, Ben Hodgkinson, who has over 20 years of experience in the business, will take on the role of Technical Director.
With regulation changes coming into force next season and Honda announcing their exit from the sport, Red Bull is planning to bring the Honda operation in-house by acquiring the company’s intellectual property.
The UK-based team revealed plans for an engine shop, based in a state-of-the-art, purpose-built power unit facility that is currently under construction at the heart of its Technology Campus in Milton Keynes.
The formation of the powertrain division represents the team’s largest investment in F1, and aims to provides both Red Bull and sister team, Scuderia AlphaTauri, with seamless integration of engine and chassis for the first time.
Today’s announcement will see Hodgkinson “bring a wealth of experience and expertise to Powertrains once the terms of his current contract with HPP are fulfilled”.
He will then begin to lead the powertrain group “with full integration into the chassis team to deliver future power units that enable Red Bull to compete for world championships”.
Speaking about the announcement, Team Principal and CEO, Christian Horner, said: “We are delighted to welcome Ben to Red Bull Powertrains as Technical Director. 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 One – 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 One 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.”
Ben 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 One and has 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.”