Red Bull calls latest hiring from Mercedes 'another statement of intent'

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Christian Horner says Red Bull's hiring from Mercedes' engine unit of chief engineer Phil Prew is another "statement of intent" on the part of the Milton Keynes-based outfit.

Red Bull continues to recruit senior personnel for its Powertrains division which is now up and running on its campus at Milton Keynes.

Its hiring spree began last year when it recruited former Mercedes head of mechanical engineering Ben Hodgkinson as its new technical director

But it achieved recently what many labeled as a major coup when it signed up Prew who, before joining Mercedes in 2016, spent 25 years with McLaren where he engineered Lewis Hamilton's run to his maiden title in F1 in 2008.

"I’m delighted that Phil is going to be joining the team and he has a phenomenal track record," Horner said, quoted by the Express.

"He has been a key component of Mercedes’ recent success and, again, it is another statement of intent of where we want to be with the power unit.

"I think we have assembled great strength and depth within the business and it’s fantastic to see it really coming together and coming to life.

"Phil’s one of a few key signings recently that add to the very talented group of people that we have already assembled."

Although Mercedes team boss and co-owner Toto Wolff has played down the loss of senior engineering personnel to Red Bull, behind closed doors the Austrian hasn't been happy about the brain drain that has occurred in the past 12 months.

Last April, Horner claimed that Red Bull had spent a seven-figure sum in High Court litigation to secure the services of several high-profile Mercedes engineers.

"I can say that we spent a million pounds altogether in the High Court fighting over a few of them," Horner told The Telegraph at the time.

"You don’t do this for engineers you want to lose. It also cost £1 million to Mercedes."

The Red Bull team principal reckons the exodus has inevitably impacted Mercedes' engine performance.

"All of this has to have an effect," he said. "Already last year it was starting to have an impact.

"Mercedes’ engines weren’t as competitive as they had been in previous years and they had reliability issues."

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