Helmut Marko, the Red Bull Racing advisor opened up about the reports that former Mercedes Powertrains head, Ben Hodgkinson is expected to join Red Bull soon. Marko also emphasized the impact Niki Lauda would’ve had if he was alive on this move. The Formula One world went crazy at this news given Ben has been loyal to the Silver Arrows and worked for them for two decades.
The reports on Ben have solidified when Red Bull in their official Twitter handle announced that Hodgkinson will be the head of their Powertrains division that will be effective from next year. Red Bull is developing their self-sufficient powertrains division as they will have to part ways with Honda at the end of this season, and Hodgkinson is expected to be the head of the department.
Three-times Formula One champion Niki Lauda dead at 70 https://t.co/LigJGOVxyn pic.twitter.com/j4xfsESrvJ
— Reuters (@Reuters) May 21, 2019
Marko, in his statement talked about Niki Lauda, the former Non-executive Chairman of the Mercedes AMG team. Niki, if he was alive would’ve made things difficult for Red Bull to rope in Ben Hodgkinson. Lauda, the three-time Formula One Champion had a very good relationship with everyone associated with Mercedes, and Marko believes things would’ve been different.
Marko, in an interview with F1-insider.com, conveyed “And he’s not the only one who wants to be with us – there are also other top-class players whose names I cannot yet say. All I can say is that we would not have succeeded in this if Niki Lauda was still alive.”
Red Bull didn’t have to pursue Ben, claims Helmut Marko
Mercedes, as stated by Helmut is trying to delay things. As far as they don’t seem to let go of their prime engineer, Red Bull cleared that they didn’t have to pursue or convince Ben to join them. The 78-year-old advisor further asserted, “Mercedes is now trying everything it can legally to delay him starting work. But it won’t take as long as they would like. The decisive factor is that we didn’t have to poach him at all. He replied to our advertisement all on his own”
Apart from Ben Hodgkinson, Former Mercedes High-Performance Powertrains Managing Director Andy Cowell who left the office earlier this year is also rumored to join the Austrian giants anytime soon. It’ll be interesting to see how things work out between Mercedes and Red Bull not just on the track, also off the track.
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