Christian Horner admits Red Bull handed huge blow

Red Bull confirmed on Tuesday that chief engineering officer Rob Marshall had joined McLaren.

According to reports, Red Bull have lost three engineers to rival teams; however, the path is now clear for Laurent Mekies to leave Ferrari and join sister side AlphaTauri.

With Red Bull dominating proceedings on the circuit, it appears that their opponents see targeting their employees as the best way of slowing the Austrians down, following a flow of departures.

It was announced on Tuesday that Red Bull had lost experienced chief engineering officer Rob Marshall to McLaren, with him set to officially join the Woking-based team as their technical director in 2024.

This is likely to be a huge blow to the Austrians, with Marshall having worked for Red Bull for almost two decades, whilst he was also working on the team’s 2026 car.

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner released a statement stating that Marshall would be “missed”, with his work having been “truly outstanding”.

“His work on the generation of cars that gave us four incredible championship doubles between 2010 and 2013 was truly outstanding,” Horner said in a statement, as per ESPN.

“His influence will be missed but once again we thank him for all he has done and wish him the very best in his new role.”

The departure of Marshall comes not long after Horner denied claims that senior employees were set to move to rivals, most notably, Ferrari.

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“In terms of personnel moving to Ferrari, certainly at a senior or medium level, there’s nothing planned,” Horner said in Miami.

Despite Horner’s comments, it’s believed that Ferrari have signed two Red Bull aerodynamicists, allowing Mekies to leave the Italians in order to become AlphaTauri’s team principal next season.

According to Italian media, Ferrari have signed David George and an unnamed employee, with both believed to have started working in Maranello this week.

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It does appear that hiring Red Bull’s senior employees is the method rivals are taking to halt the Milton Keynes-based team’s progression, with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff still believing that the regulations shouldn’t be changed to cut their advantage.

“If we start introducing that, we will destroy this sport,” Wolff said.

“You should be punished for breaking the rules, but not for doing good work. And Red Bull have done a great job. We just need to work better, find the right solutions, and catch up.”