Red Bull have signed engineer Phil Prew from Mercedes to help inform their work on power units from the 2026 season.
Prew has previously worked at McLaren, where he was an understudy to Adrian Newey, before going on to become a race engineer in 2001, working with the likes of Sir Lewis Hamilton, Sergio Perez and Kevin Magnussen.
He served as chief engineer at the Woking-based side for three years, before moving over to Brixworth to become an integral part of Mercedes’ high-performance powertrains (HPP) unit.
The Briton has now been poached by Red Bull, who have recently built an auxiliary factory in Milton Keynes where their engines in 2026 are expected to be made.
Currently, the Austrian team have a deal in place with Honda that sees the Japanese manufacturer make their engines until at least the end of 2025, and Masashi Yamamoto, former boss of Honda’s Formula 1 programme, now works for the team as a consultant.
There is now a likelihood that the engines will again be outsourced in 2026, this time to Porsche, but Red Bull will need as many expertise as they can get to work with the Porsche engineers and get both sides integrated as one.
This is something Prew’s years of experience will help with as the four-time champions aim to put together the final pieces of the puzzle together ahead of the arrival of the new technical regulations in four years.
“All the key players are now in place,” team principal Christian Horner told RacingNews365.com.
“We’ve got our management structure in place, and obviously they’re hard at work on what will be, hopefully soon to be confirmed, 2026 regulations.”
As well as being well-versed in engines, Prew worked with McLaren’s aerodynamic team for nine months in 1997, so Red Bull are getting a rounded and intimate knowledge of F1 cars in Prew.
“I’m delighted that Phil is going to be joining the team,” added Horner.
“He has a phenomenal track record, he’s been a key component of Mercedes’ recent success, and it’s another statement of intent of where we want to be with the power unit.
“I think we’ve assembled great depth within the business, and it’s fantastic to see everything coming together.
“Phil’s one of a few key signings recently that will add to the very talented group of people that we’ve already assembled.”
Horner also gained chief designer Adrian Newey’s approval of the new signing with the nine-time constructors’ champion having worked with Prew for eight years at McLaren.
“Adrian has known Phil from years ago, so obviously I consulted his opinion,” explained the 48-year-old.
Red Bull currently lead Ferrari by 97 points in the Constructors’ Standings in 2022, with Mercedes a further 30 back.
Max Verstappen, meanwhile, is 80 points clear of Charles Leclerc in the drivers’ fight having claimed his eighth win of the season in Budapest last weekend.