Christian Horner claims McLaren offered ‘half their cap’ to Red Bull engineer

Mercedes signed former Red Bull COO Jayne Poole after the Austrians made her redundant.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has openly admitted that the budget cap has made it incredibly difficult to stop staff from joining other teams, following the departure of Rob Marshall to McLaren.

It was announced in May that Marshall would be joining McLaren as their Technical Director, Engineering and Design in January 2024, bringing his long Red Bull stay to an end.

Marshall had worked for the Milton Keynes-side since 2006, meaning he was a key part of everything the leading side have achieved over the years.

Keeping Marshall was clearly something Red Bull were unable to do, with Horner having joked that McLaren’s offer was “probably half their cap”.

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As a result, retaining staff once approached by a rival has become almost impossible, given that they may have set aside more of their yearly budget to hiring new employees.

“Of course it does,” Horner told media, including, when asked if the budget cap is making staff retention harder.

“You can’t carry anybody within the team, and I think that everybody has to warrant their place within the camp.

“Rob was focused on other projects in recent years, and the offer that McLaren made is probably half their cap!

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“So you can’t blame him for wanting to go and do that.”

The budget cap has essentially resulted in some of the teams having to make some well-paid employees redundant, with Red Bull being no exception.

Red Bull had to release former COO Jayne Poole as they simply couldn’t afford her under the budget cap, with Mercedes having since poached her services.

The budget cap has essentially made it easier to hire those on a lower salary, compared to the key technical staff, who are often earning incredible amounts.

“You have to make sure it’s not a race to the bottom,” Horner said in response to a question by

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“The problem is that you have long-standing personnel that have contributed a significant amount, that you don’t want to see forced out of their roles because of the cap.

“Just because you can justify 10 youngsters versus an experienced [person], and that’s the constant bait that you have.

“We’ve had redundancies through the cap. Jayne Poole [former COO, now working as a special advisor for Mercedes] was one of those as well. She was a redundancy that we made because we couldn’t justify the role within the cap.”