Red Bull engineering head Rob Marshall to join McLaren from 2024

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Photo credit: Red Bull Content Pool

Amidst a rough first part of the 2023 Formula 1 season and a general stagnation in their progress over the last few seasons, McLaren announced on Tuesday the hiring of Red Bull chief engineering officer Rob Marshall to be their chief designer from the 2024 season onward.

Marshall’s time at Red Bull was spent first as chief designer from 2006 to 2016, during which time he designed the cars that delivered their first win in 2009 and four straight drivers’ championships for Sebastian Vettel, and four straight constructors’ championships, from 2010 to 2013. In 2016 he was named chief engineering officer, and oversaw the further development of both their own car and the Red Bull Powertrains division, which paid off with Max Verstappen’s back-to-back drivers’ championship in 2021 and 2022 and another constructors’ title in 2022.

Prior to joining Red Bull, he had been at Benetton/Renault from 1994 to 2005, working up from race engineer to head of mechanical design, and was an instrumental part of their championship team in 2005 when Alonso won his first Drivers’ Championship with the Enstone-based squad.

All told, Marshall has had a hand in seven constructors’ and nine drivers’ championships over 30 years in Formula 1–a touch that McLaren team principal Andrea Stella hopes can work the same magic for his team.

We are a team with the ambition of fighting for championships, but over the last couple of seasons we have not shown a steady upward trend from an on-track competitiveness point of view. Over the last few months, we have worked towards inverting this trend.[…] Rob’s appointment is one of the fundamental steps and a natural fit to aid the team’s journey to get back to our winning ways.

Marshall will be leaving Red Bull with immediate effect, and team principal Christian Horner was gracious in his remarks.

We would like to thank Rob for everything he has done for the Team over the past 17 years. 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.