Red Bull has signed Ben Hodgkinson to be technical director of Red Bull Powertrains, securing his services from Mercedes High Performance Powertrains.
Hodgkinson previously worked in WRC and Le Mans before joining what was then Ilmor before it evolved into Mercedes High Performance Powertrains (HPP). After two decades at HPP where he rose to the role of head of engineering, Hodgkinson will move to Red Bull to lead its new power unit company that is being created to take over the Honda technology from 2022 onwards.
“I’m extremely excited to be joining Red Bull Powertrains as technical director,” Hodgkinson said. “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 honor. 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.”
Red Bull sees the creation of its powertrains company as its biggest investment in F1 since the team itself was entered in 2005, and team principal Christian Horner says the signing of Hodgkinson shows it is serious about developing its own engine for the next set of regulations when introduced.
“We are delighted to welcome Ben to Red Bull Powertrains as technical director,” Horner said. “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.”
Red Bull is in the process of constructing its new power unit facility at its Milton Keynes campus, where the car is also designed and built.