Marko: Mercedes offered to double salary of Red Bull defectors

Helmut Marko

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has said that Mercedes offered to double the salaries of the employees that jumped ship to join Red Bull Powertrains.

The Milton Keynes outfit announced last month that former Mercedes High Performance Powertrains head of engineering Ben Hodgkinson had been appointed technical director, before confirming ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend that a further five members of staff were set to join from Mercedes.

Red Bull Powertrains will launch into action next season, with current engine supplier Honda set to leave the sport at the end of 2021.

A number of Honda staff in Milton Keynes will stay on as part of Red Bull Powertrains, while Red Bull team principal Christian Horner also confirmed that the team would be looking externally to bolster their ranks.

Discussing the news that a further five engine staff had agreed to leave Mercedes, Marko told Motorsport-Magazin: “Red Bull is a passionate racing team. Everything all in one house.

“Mercedes offers people who come to us double the salary if they stay. We don’t.”

Red Bull’s decision to form their own engine division came after their rivals agreed to implement a power-unit development freeze between 2022 and 2025.

Speaking to Sky Sports F1 about recent developments, Horner added: “People will want to work where they want to work at the end of the day. You can’t force someone to work where they don’t want to be. If we’re an attractive place to be and people see that racing spirit and they want to be part of it, they’re going to come on the journey.

“We’re based in the UK, we’re only 30 miles off the road from Brixworth where Mercedes engines have chosen to build their engines in the UK. And they’ve done that for a reason, because the talent is within the UK.

“And for us, I think bringing the engines on-site within the campus, fully integrating it with the chassis so engine and chassis engineers working side by side with each other is tremendously appealing.”