Red Bull have downplayed their interest in signing former Mercedes F1 engine chief Andy Cowell, saying they believe he is not planning a return to the sport.
Cowell is largely considered to be one of the most important people in Mercedes’ domination of the turbo-hybrid era of Formula One.
He left the Silver Arrows in the summer of last year and was previously linked with a move to Ferrari, but the Maranello-based team was quick to deny this as unfounded speculation.
In an interview conducted on the same Red Bull announced the formation of its own powertrains division, team principal Christian Horner described Cowell as “mightily impressive” and confirmed that they will be hiring new talent for this brand-new unit.
“What he’s achieved obviously in the recent 10 years of the sport has been mightily impressive,” Horner told Motorsport.com.
“He was obviously a lynchpin of what Mercedes and HPP have delivered.
“I think he’s obviously chosen to pursue, I think, other activities outside of Formula 1.
“But of course, as far as engines are concerned, he’s been the guy that has delivered year on year.
“But my understanding is that his interests currently lay outside of Formula 1.”
Continuing, the Red Bull team principal said: “Obviously we will inherit the vast majority of HRD UK, which is the operational side of Honda, based in Milton Keynes,” Horner said.
“So that gives us a standing start, in that already all the people we already know and interface with, we’ll look to take under the new company.
“Then we are in the process of setting out some of the other roles that will be filled in the next coming weeks and months.
“But I think the agreement we’ve achieved with Honda just buys us time to assemble the right group of people,” he concluded.