We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Christian Horner has spoken out after Red Bull poached Lewis Hamilton’s former engineer Phil Prew from Mercedes. The Austrian team have been in imperious form on the track this season and are leading the Constructors’ Championship by 97 points, with Max Verstappen also at the top of the Drivers’ Championship standings.
Red Bull have been uncompromising in their recruitment drive recently as they look to become the powerhouse in F1 for years to come. And Horner believes Prew’s arrival is a “statement of intent.”
He said: “I’m delighted that Phil is going to be joining the team and he has a phenomenal track record. 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.”
READ MORE: Toto Wolff has four drivers who could replace Lewis Hamilton
Prew previously worked at McLaren for 18 years and was the understudy to Red Bull’s current chief technical officer Adrian Newey before becoming a race engineer. And during his time with the Woking-based team, he worked with the likes of David Coulthard, Juan Pablo Montoya and Lewis Hamilton. He guided Hamilton to his first F1 world title in 2008, before moving to Mercedes to link up with the Briton again in 2016.
After Prew’s arrival was announced, Horner admitted that he had first spoken to Newey about bringing him in. “Adrian has known Phil from years ago, so obviously I consulted his opinion,” added the 48-year-old.
Wolff ‘signs off’ Alonso move as Hamilton replacement theory tabled
Mercedes deliver Hamilton and Russell promise as excitement builds
Michael Schumacher’s son Mick angles for Ferrari move
Prew is set to take a leading role on Red Bull’s work on their future power units. The energy drink giants currently have a deal in place for Honda to make their engines until the end of the 2025 season. The Red Bull engines are likely to be outsourced once again when that deal expires, with Porsche in the frame to take over. And Prew’s expertise will be needed to ensure Red Bull get the product they are looking for.
And Horner has already stated that he believes his team are in a good place behind-the-scenes. “I think that things are really taking shape,” he said at the Hungarian Grand Prix. “You can see in Milton Keynes we’ve gone from being a few units on an industrial estate to being a technology campus. The investment by the group has been significant. The first engine is due to fire up shortly. It’s been a steep learning curve but we’ve recruited some phenomenal talent.”
See today’s front and back pages, download the newspaper, order back issues and use the historic Daily Express newspaper archive.