With the news of Honda leaving F1 at the end of the season, Red Bull has started his engine project “Red Bull Powertrains” at Milton Keynes.
In the last month, Red Bull has approached multiple Mercedes´ staff, approximately 100 according to Toto Wolff and finally 15 or so of them accepting Red Bull´s offer.
Christian Horner said:
"I think there is an inevitability that obviously we're based in the UK, we're only 30 miles up the road from Brixworth where Mercedes have chosen to build their engines in the UK," Horner said.
"And they've done that for a reason because the talent is within the UK. I think for us bringing the engines on site within the campus, fully integrating it with the chassis is tremendously appealing.
"We've been very flattered by the amount of approaches that we've had. Of course, we're starting with a clean sheet of paper and it's important to get the right people in the right positions.
"Obviously, we've had quite a bit of success in attracting some fantastic talent on top of the talent that we will inherit from Honda when they depart at the end of the year."
Red Bull is the main opponent of Mercedes this season and probably the next to come but they need to keep the pace on the engine development if they want to stay at the level of competition.
Horner dismissed the suggestion that they are going to war with Mercedes with those staff movements.
"People work where they want to work," said Horner.
"At the end of the day, you can't force someone to work where they don't want to be," he added.
"And if we're an attractive place to be and people see that racing spirit and they want to be part of it, they're going to come on the journey."
With those moves, Toto Wolff said he felt no frustration and it was pretty obvious where to look for talent in an engine division.
"If you want to set up an engine factory in the UK, there is only one, and that is us,” Wolff said on Sky Sports F1.
“We have 900 or so employees there, and if we are fishing out 15 of these or so, that’s pretty normal.
“But they went mainly after manufacturing staff, so it’s not really performance. I guess they want to build up the company.
“But credit to the project, it’s a Mount Everest to climb. I’d like to have a fight with Red Bull power units.”
“In all approached [they] 100 people or so, and they got 15 maybe," said the Mercedes team principal.
Recently Helmut Marko was quoted in the press saying that Mercedes was doubling the salary of staff who rejected the offer.
“But it is what it is. I respect everybody that wants to defend his business or build his business, and the retaliation time has not yet come.” Wolff added.