Prodromou begins Red Bull departure

2014 F1 season

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Bahrain International Circuit, 2014Red Bull has confirmed its head of aerodynamics Peter Prodromou has stepped down from active duties as he prepares to move to rivals McLaren.

A statement released on Wednesday said Prodromou has “commenced a period of gardening leave” and the team “would like to thank him for his valuable contribution during his time with the team”.

Prodromou has occupied the role since 2006, during which time he worked alongside chief technical officer Adrian Newey on the team’s four consecutive constructors’ championship-winning cars. He will return to McLaren, who he originally joined in 1991.

Dan Fallows, who was previously the aerodynamics team leader, has been in Prodromou’s place. Red Bull said Fallows “left the team for a short time last year”.

“He has now returned to Infiniti Red Bull Racing to begin working in his new role.”

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26 comments on Prodromou begins Red Bull departure

  1. Barry Miller (@bmk1586) said on 9th April 2014, 10:11

    I wonder what secrets he will have to share with McLaren, or if he held anything back from Red bull if he knew he was leaving. Just a thought

  2. Todfod (@todfod) said on 9th April 2014, 10:22

    Great news for Mclaren.

    Step 2) Ensure Honda delivers a killer PU

    Step 3) Hire Alonso

    :)

    • I really can’t see Alonso staying another season at Ferrari. He must be thinking his best years are running out. The options; McLaren- a few unknowns but probably worth a chance; Red Bull- with a Renault PU?; Mercedes- not at the moment, why would they?; Williams or Force India- Bahrain (being a power circuit) probably exaggerated their standing in the rankings so can’t see that as the season pans out.

      • Calum (@calum) said on 9th April 2014, 10:54

        Mclaren with their management reshuffle, new aerodynamic staff and new engines are (perhaps on a smaller scale) are putting the piece in place similar to what Mercedes and RedBull have recently done as they best prepare themselves to rise up for a title challenge.

        Alonso missed the boat to get on board the RedBull project in 2009 by choosing the factory Renault team instead; Mercedes drivers won’t want to give up their seats any time soon; and Ferrari have failed to deliver the goods to Fernando for yet another year.

        Mclaren-Honda definitely looks like one final gamble for Alonso that’s worth taking. :)

        • HiPn0tIc (@hipn0tic) said on 9th April 2014, 11:01

          MClaren and Honda are using Alons to atract MovieStar deal.
          Honnestly i can see that happen, Mclaren shoul be a good bet to Alonso “comeback”, once Ferrari didn’t delivered. But also RBR is a contender, a Mercedes seat would be only avaible if Nico “get fed up”..

          • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 9th April 2014, 11:45

            @hipn0tic
            Honda is really pushing for Fernando Alonso in McLaren they are already ready to pay half his salary, do you think Ron Dennis would easily change his mind and allow Fernando to be back in McLaren after all what he did in 2007 ?

            MClaren and Honda are using Alons to atract MovieStar deal.

            Even if that is true do you think the guys at MovieStar are stupid enough to believe those rumors ? Normally the MovieStar guys will say “Bring Fernando Alonso and you will get the sponsorship”

          • HiPn0tIc (@hipn0tic) said on 9th April 2014, 12:09

            @tifoso 1989

            As for Ron Dennis yes i think really so, Alonso was the best pilot they had since then, since Senna probably, and this was Ron Dennis words in the beginning of the year i guess

            “Whatever obstacles sit between a team wanting to win and winning, be it engineering, fiscal or human issues, you resolve them. You never say never.” But asked if he would object to the Spaniard returning, Dennis said: “One has to recognise the first objective of any grand prix team is to win races. “Whatever obstacles sit between a team wanting to win and winning, be it engineering, fiscal or human issues, you resolve them. You never say never…

            As for Moviestar, it easy to count with some support if they’re news about it, and want thing helps the others, if they talked with MovieStar about it and then talk to Alonso i guess it’s more easy for all the 3 parts…

    • Keith Campbell (@keithedin) said on 9th April 2014, 12:05

      I think it would be worth a gamble from Alonso’s point of view. Ferrari just don’t seem capable of designing a fast car these last few years, and this year they failed to provide a competitive engine too. And it’s not just aerodynamics, they seem poor in traction too so they always seem to have multiple issues to sort out. McLaren would be a gamble, and may not even be competitive, but i think in this instance it’s a case of ‘better the devil you don’t know’.

      The question is whether McLaren (Ron Dennis) will want him back. Do they think he would make the difference between winning a championship and losing, or do they think the drivers they have now would be good enough if they build a front-runner? Or maybe they would even take a punt on some other driver like Hulkenberg (but i doubt this since they threw their weight behind Magnussen).

    • Guccio (@concalvez00) said on 9th April 2014, 12:40

      @Todfod Not a chance for Alonso getting back at McLaren, Ron Dennis does not want him, Ron Dennis is preparing for his Prodigy Hamilton to return.

    • Deej92 (@deej92) said on 9th April 2014, 12:40

      I still think there is a chance of Alonso going to McLaren, despite Dennis’ increased involvement. I don’t think Dennis would have any qualms with having Alonso back, it’s more whether Alonso would cut his Ferrari contract short and want to work with him again.

      I have little doubt that McLaren and Honda are pursuing either him or Hulkenberg. There have been rumours of potential Movistar backing if Alonso were to return and there’s Santander, of course. Although last week Santander’s chief said that they want to back Alonso for the next 10 years, also stating their relationship with Ferrari has never been stronger. Performances may have to pick up though, you’d think.

      So at the moment I wouldn’t rule out a return to McLaren, nor would I rule out him staying put for another year.

      • smiggs (@smiggs) said on 9th April 2014, 16:06

        I suspect McLaren will keep the same driving lineup for next year. Button is an experienced hand and trusted by both McLaren and Honda, given they are taking a big risk with a new Honda engine I don’t see them taking a risk on a driver their management doesn’t really trust and reacted badly to being paired with a young charger last time he was with the team.

  3. Peter A said on 9th April 2014, 10:30

    Any idea when he can join Mclaren? A few more races with no more improvement they may concentrate fully on 2015. Most of the teams, keeping the same engines, can continue to develop through the season and keep 2015 relevance, McLaren and maybe Red Bull will have to think about repackaging/cooling etc. I’m also wondering how much access they(and Honda) to the Mercedes PU or is it a sealed unit?

    • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 9th April 2014, 10:58

      They’ll no doubt have seen the specs for the current engine, but obviously won’t get any information on what next years effort will be like – they’re chasing a moving target.

  4. HiPn0tIc (@hipn0tic) said on 9th April 2014, 10:55

    Everytime a winning team is divided, that’s not a good sign, altough it’s an opportunity to ensure a new job, it’s time to give RBR new (and valid) ideas…

  5. Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 9th April 2014, 10:58

    The quotation marks used in the formula1.com article on this topic are funny:

    Red Bull thanked Prodromou for his “valuable contribution”.

    This sounds like he messed up something. But I think it is just poor quotation by formula1.com. Keith shows in his article how a quotation works better.

    • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 9th April 2014, 11:02

      No, it’s likely just a paraphrasing of the original statement.

      The only words retained were ‘valuable contribution’, so these were quoted.

      It doesn’t help that people use ” to signify sarcasm or intentional lying.

  6. F1FAN98 (@mariosf1) said on 9th April 2014, 11:38

    I think 2015 mclaren will be spot on!!

  7. Eric Morman (@lethalnz) said on 9th April 2014, 11:44

    great for Mclaren,
    maybe a new chassis some helpful tips on aerodynamics and Button/Magnussen will be right up there in third place.
    Honda have the resources and quite capable of revving an engine,
    will be interesting if they can do it right. Mclaren will have learn’t a thing or to about the Merc in the meantime,
    anymore engine manufactures capable of joining in?
    Porsche/BMW maybe a Toyota comeback maybe?

  8. Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 9th April 2014, 12:01

    The thing is Prodromo’s office along with Rob Marshal one is just next to Adrian Newey’s office, the man has an important weight in the RBR factory to the point that he was allowed to work on the RB10 even though he has already signed with Mclaren, (maybe the RB10 has inherited the same aero characteristics of its predecessors that he can transfer anyway to Mclaren)
    I’m pretty confident that some secrets of the Mercedes PU are already analyzed in the Honda factory like the separation of the turbine and the compressor combined by another innovations like the Ferrari cooling system or turbo protection which suggests that Honda could come up with a PU that could outshine the Mercedes PU let alone the Ferrari and the Renault power units
    So Mclaren in 2015 could have the best aero+the best PU, Alonso, Vettel are you listening ?

    • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 9th April 2014, 12:13

      Honda know of Mercedes concepts, but then so do Ferrari and Renault – I suspect there will be revisions to their units for next year to copy the idea, where possibly, considering the homologated parts.

      • Unless protected by patents Honda will be able to do that but not Renault and Ferrari. It will require a major change which is not allowed. It is possible that the Mercedes powered cars will maintain this advantage for three years but even with the Renault power RB is already quite fast. Before getting too exited about Honda/McLaren you may consider the risk of RB switching to Honda as well.

        • RV (@zenren) said on 9th April 2014, 13:24

          Renault unit is not so bad that it cannot be improved. They are still running in a detuned state due to fear of engine failure. Over the course of this season, we might see them getting 100% and possibly getting close to Mercedes.

          Isn’t the homologation for a single season? I don’t think it is frozen for 3 years. In any case, changes are allowed for reasons like increasing efficiency, reliability and competitiveness. So probably Merc engine is frozen while others can improve and still comply with the rules

          • smiggs (@smiggs) said on 9th April 2014, 15:47

            Long term FIA don’t want a formula dominated by one engine supplier, there is a freeze on engine development during the course of the season but for 2015 they are allowed to make the design changes necessary. Even during the V8 era engine manufacturers were allowed to make the necessary changes to put the engines on equal footing.

    • Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 9th April 2014, 12:40

      Alonso and Vettel in a rocket Mclaren-Honda? That would be a bomb! But really, I don’t see that happening.

      Mclaren’s driver line-up is not bad: they have a very talented rookie and a world champion, that is still beating young talents, in the other car. Alonso’s relationship with Ron Dennis is not one of the sweetest and Ron should come with a killer deal and assurance that next year’s car will be a real WC winning machine. Otherwise, it’d be a sideways move, because I don’t see Mclaren shining in coming years. Ferrari have a star team in terms of drivers and engineers, but still can’t make a WC winning car. Same is with Mclaren.

      Vettel meanwhile is in the best team on the grid (along with Mercedes) and they will definetely catch Mercedes, at least next year. Unless, he is looking for a challenge with another team.

  9. Chris (@ukphillie) said on 9th April 2014, 13:05

    Bad news for Newey. Who’s idea’s and designs is he going to take the credit for now?

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