Pierre Wache, Chief Engineer of Performance Engineering at Red Bull Racing looks on during day one of F1 Testing at Bahrain International Circuit on February 23, 2023 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 News: Red Bull may lose technical boss, but probably not

(GMM) Another layer to Red Bull’s pre-season turmoil has emerged in the shape of the potential defection to Ferrari of its technical director Pierre Wache (pictured).

The crisis that threatens the Formula 1 career of Red Bull’s long-time team boss Christian Horner began to come to a head last Friday, as the 50-year-old met with the barrister appointed by the Austrian parent company.

Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner looks on
Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner looks on in the Paddock during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at Miami International Autodrome on May 04, 2023 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

So intense is the media scrutiny into Horner’s supposed “inappropriate behavior” against a female staff member that the meeting was moved from Milton-Keynes to a secret location.

The meeting then dragged on for a full eight hours, with sources reporting that an actual outcome may need to wait until after this week’s 2024 car launch and even the looming start of winter testing.

“This is not something that is going to be rectified that quickly,” a source told the Sun newspaper.

When asked to comment, Red Bull Racing said only: “It would not be appropriate for us to comment until the investigation is complete.”

Most expect Red Bull and Max Verstappen to dominate again this year, but team design guru Adrian Newey is warning that the gap to rivals could actually close due to the “conservative” approach to development of the new car.

“Our car will be a third evolution of the (2022) RB18,” Newey is quoted as admitting in the pages of Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Resources are limited, so we decided to develop what we have. I just hope it turns out to be correct.”

What Red Bull may not be able to control is the departure of more key staff – like Frenchman Pierre Wache, who is rumored to be joining Mercedes-defector Lewis Hamilton in moving to Maranello.

“The Red Bull tree is burning internally,” said veteran Formula 1 journalist Roger Benoit, writing for Blick newspaper. “Is he (Wache) leaving the sinking ship?”

La Gazzetta dello Sport concurs: “Ferrari looked into hiring Pierre Wache last year, but they failed. But now Wache is seriously considering accepting the offer.”

Insiders say all this news surrounding Horner and Wache was all started to keep F1 and Red Bull in the news (free news) in the off-season and once the season begins it will all magically blow over.

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