Red Bull may be at risk of losing technical director Pierre Wache with Lewis Hamilton’s move to Ferrari potentially enough to make the Frenchman consider a switch to join up with Fred Vasseur’s organisation.
Wache – who moved to Red Bull back in 2013 to become chief engineer – has been a target of Ferrari for some time and rejected an approach from the Italian constructor last year. However, Hamilton’s arrival has made their project a more appealing one with two potentially World Championship-winning drivers behind the wheel from 2025 onwards.
According to a report from La Gazzetta dello Sport, Wache has already discussed a salary with the 16-time world champions and is weighing up the possibility of a move. He is also said to be awaiting the outcome of the investigation into team principal Christian Horner, who is facing allegations of misconduct relating to his aggressive management style.
The Frenchman would be a major coup for Vasseur given his importance to the Red Bull project. As per the report, it is Wache who plays the more pivotal role in the design of the reigning champions’ machinery with the acclaimed Adrian Newey taking on a more advisory role.
If Wache is waiting for the outcome of Horner’s internal investigation to make his decision on a potential switch to Ferrari, then he may be forced to wait. In an update for Sky Sports News on Friday, Craig Slater suggested that the outcome of the probe may not be known until around the time of the season opener in Bahrain.
“As I understand that, I think we’re talking about a process which will start sometime mid-morning [on Friday] and will continue into the afternoon, Slater explained. “The investigators have pledged to be thorough with this.
“For those thinking, this could either be concluded today or possibly in advance of the Red Bull launch, which is the 15th of February next Thursday, well that isn’t a certainty. This is not going to operate as I understand it to a Formula One timetable, it will operate to a timetable appropriate to get a clear and fair solution for both parties.”
It isn’t just Red Bull who are under threat from Ferrari now that Hamilton has joined the project. With Loic Serra already on his way to Maranello, there has been speculation that the likes of Andrew Shovlin and Pete Bonnington could also be targets from the Mercedes camp given their close ties to the seven-time world champion.