Red Bull Powertrains has recruited Mercedes High Performance Powertrains’ Head of Engineering to front its Formula 1 engine project, with a focus on the new 2025 formula.
Red Bull Powertrains was formed earlier this year in response to Honda’s decision to withdraw as a Formula 1 engine supplier.
A deal struck between Red Bull and Honda means the team can continue to use the Japanese power units for the 2022-24 period under the upcoming engine freeze.
Hodgkinson, who previously worked in the WRC before joining Ilmor Racing, which later morphed into Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains – which develops the engines used by the Mercedes F1 Team – will join Red Bull Powertrains as Technical Director once the terms of his current contract with HPP are fulfilled.
Hodgkinson will head up the development of Red Bull’s inaugural power unit, to comply with the new Formula 1 regulations currently planned for 2025, which sees the introduction of a new engine formula that will likely use biofuels in an attempt to cut carbon emissions.
“I’m extremely excited to be joining Red Bull Powertrains as Technical Director,” he 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 honour.
“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 team boss and CEO, Christian Horner, added: “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 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.”