Hodgkinson will be the technical director of Red Bull’s new engine division. He had worked for Mercedes since 2001 and is not the only engineer making the switch. The ‘transfer’ of the Briton had been known for a while, but contractually he was not allowed to start working at Red Bull immediately. Both parties have now agreed that he will join Red Bull on 24 May 2022.
Red Bull has set up an engine department in Milton Keynes. The main aim is to develop a power source that can be used from 2026, when the new engines are launched in Formula 1. This may happen in combination with Porsche, because the rumors about an entry of both Porsche and Audi into the premier class are becoming more and more persistent. From 2026, the engines should become a lot cheaper, which should attract more suppliers.
Verstappen became champion last season with a Honda engine, but the Japanese have now officially said goodbye to Formula 1. Honda is still providing assistance to Red Bull and is developing the latest engine, which must be used from next season. The development of the engines will be ‘frozen’ after this winter until the introduction of the new generation of power units.