Red Bull aero chief Prodromou to join McLaren in 2015

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McLaren have confirmed that Red Bull’s head of aerodynamics Peter Prodromou will join the team at the end of his current contract with the world champions to coincide with the return of Honda in 2015.

Prodromou has been instrumental in Red Bull’s dominance of the sport over the past four years, working with technical guru Adrian Newey at Milton Keynes. McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said in Korea that the team would be announcing some “impressive” backroom signings in the coming weeks, and Prodromou appears to be the first of these.

“We do have to remember that the contract Peter has at the moment is a Red Bull contract and I have to respect that,” McLaren’s managing director Jonathan Neale explained to journalists in Japan. “It’s for them to talk about what his terms are and what his leave dates are.

“But in terms of our position then, yes, we have recruited Peter. We are really excited about him joining the team.”

Prodromou will return to McLaren at the end of his contract in 2015, having worked for the team between 2000 and 2005 under Newey.

McLaren have endured a difficult year in 2013 thanks to problems with the MP4-28 car, but plans are slowly coming together for the Woking-based outfit to bounce back when their new partnership with Honda begins in 2015.

Rumors continue to persist suggesting that Ross Brawn could leave Mercedes to join McLaren, but he is yet to make a final decision about his future.

Ricciardo set to see Dale Jr.’s final Texas ride in two weeks (VIDEO)

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We’ve written before about Daniel Ricciardo’s love of Dale Earnhardt and his love of the No. 3, which Ricciardo has selected as his permanent number for the duration of his Formula 1 career. And additionally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has offered up the opportunity that one day Ricciardo could race a JR Motorsports car in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, and Ricciardo has said he’d be up for it.

And although Earnhardt Jr. has only used the No. 3 on a handful of occasions in his career in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ricciardo knows how much the number means to the NASCAR veteran as he prepares for his final few starts in the Cup Series the tail-end of this year.

After the Mexican Grand Prix next week, Ricciardo is set to stay in North America for the off-week between the Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix.

In that break, he said he’ll see Earnhardt Jr. in person at the Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (Sunday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN) to ensure he gets to see him before he retires from full-time competition.

Ricciardo explained his planning during Thursday’s pre-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass, speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.

“Well I’ll see him for the first time in Dallas. I’m gonna go to the NASCAR race in two weeks time at Texas Motor Speedway,” Ricciardo told NBCSN.

“Yeah, so, I gotta see him race before he hangs up the helmet.

“The Earnhardt family is a huge name in motorsport, not only in America but all over the world. Yeah I wish him well.”

Ricciardo is also optimistic he’ll get the chance to do a helmet swap with Earnhardt Jr. at the event.

“Hopefully I get to see him perform well in Texas. I’m gonna try to do a helmet swap with him. We’ll see how we go.”

Stay tuned for more on this over the coming weeks.