Helmut Marko claims that Red Bull staff are being offered “double” their salary by rival teams to switch sides as a result of losing key personnel Rob Marshall to McLaren and Dan Fallows to Aston Martin.
Red Bull has experienced a full-scale assault on their technical personnel since they became the team to beat in the new ground effects aerodynamic era with their Adrian Newey-designed cars.
Aerodynamicist David George is apparently on his way to Maranello to join Ferrari, and McLaren has just recruited Rob Marshall for 2024. Aston Martin has already persuaded former Red Bull head of aerodynamics Dan Fallows to leave the team.
Only those high-profile deals with Ferrari and Mercedes are claimed to have expressed interest in Newey. Instead, he accepted a new multi-year contract with Red Bull and rejected them.
However the 80-year-old admits the Milton Keynes team cannot always make a counter offer in the current budget cap time frame, but he doesn’t think the battle for Red Bull’s key players will stop.
Teams are allowed to exempt the best-paid three important employees from the current budget, but everyone else—with the exception of the drivers—is subject to this.
“That is indeed a big problem,” Marko told Sky Sports on Sunday ahead of McLaren announcement signing Marshall. “Above all the sums that are offered, they sometimes get double what we paid them.”
However, Marko believes that Red Bull is still the finest choice for anyone looking to experience the thrill of victory.
“The factor that still keeps us halfway together as a team is the emotion, the passion,” the Red Bull boss added. “Of course it also makes a lot of difference that you have a driver like Max… It radiates and everyone wants to be there be a part of this success package.”
With four victories under his belt after six races, Max Verstappen leads Sergio Perez by 39 points in the Drivers’ Championship, with Fernando Alonso trailing by another 12 points.
Marko is hoping that the worker exodus will not intensify.
“We hope that this will remain a one-time thing,” he said, “otherwise we have no serious departures…Thank God we have partnerships with universities. We train our people ourselves and can mostly absorb that.”
Marshall, who will join McLaren as the technical head of engineering and design in January 2024, is Red Bull’s most recent departure.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said that even though he won’t leave his position until the end of this year, he would probably be put on gardening leave before then.
“We would like to thank Rob for everything he has done for the team over the past 17 years,” Horner said. “His work on the generation of cars that gave us four incredible championship doubles between 2010 and 2013 was truly outstanding.
“In the years since he has continued to be a key figure at the Team and in 2016 took on the broader role of Chief Engineering Officer which has seen him involved in other projects across the business.
“His influence will be missed but once again we thank him for all he has done and wish him the very best in his new role.”