Christian Horner taunts Toto Wolff and claims Red Bull poached 220 Mercedes employees

The Red Bull boss insists one or two departures means nothing after poaching a huge number of Mercedes employees

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has claimed the team have poached 220 Formula 1 employees from Mercedes as he hit back in his latest row with Toto Wolff.

Both Wolff and Brown had claimed to have recently received CVs from unhappy Red Bull employees, who were looking to switch teams due to the disharmony within the Milton Keynes team.

It comes after reports emerged that both Mercedes want to recruit Max Verstappen and Adrian Newey, the outgoing Red Bull chief technical officer, although Ferrari appear to be winning the race to sign him.

“Zak is absolutely correct. We have seen Red Bull CVs across all areas,” Wolff said. “I would say that this is nothing unusual. People change teams and want a change in their environment.”

Toto Wolff (L) and Zak Brown (Centre Left) claimed to have received Red Bull CVs | Mercedes

Responding to the Austrian’s comments ahead of the 2024 Miami Grand Prix, Horner revealed the extent of the exodus at Mercedes which led to Red Bull snatching a huge number of their employees for their Red Bull Power Trains engineering department.

“Of course there will always be movements between teams. I don’t know how many people McLaren has hired this year,” Horner said to Sky Sports F1. “We have signed 220 people from Mercedes. 220 from HPP – Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains – to Red Bull. So when we talk about losing people, I would be more worried about the 220 people than about one or two resumes.”

A long standing feud

Brown and Wolff have never been afraid to rile up Horner after taking several jabs at the 50-year-old in the past.

The duo called on the FIA to launch an investigation when Horner was accused – and later cleared by the team – of inappropriate behaviour by a female employee in February.

In particular, Brown was also unimpressed with Horner‘s conduct when the team were found to have breached the cost cap regulations in 2022.

Red Bull supremo Horner insisted he was unmoved by his counterpart’s comments, suggesting they enjoy speaking about other team’s problems when they have their own to sort out.

“The two candidates involved [Brown and Wolff] talk a lot. I’m not going to get carried away by a ‘tit for tat'” Horner added. “I would focus more on the problems that Toto has. I have no concern about the strength and depth of Red Bull.

Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
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