Looking to go one position further in the 2014 Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes has claimed two senior engineers from the Red Bull team that beat them to the top this past season.
Mark Ellis and Giles Wood, who served as Red Bull’s chief engineer of vehicle dynamics and chief engineer of simulation and analysis respectively, are now on their way to Brackley and will begin work with the ‘Silver Arrows’ in June of 2014.
Ellis and Wood will serve in newly-created positions at Mercedes, with Ellis coming on as performance director and Wood as chief engineer for simulations and development.
“These two newly-created roles will further strengthen the team’s technical organisation, particularly in the fields of simulation and vehicle dynamics,” Mercedes said in a statement.
While Red Bull has dominated Formula One over the last four seasons, their success has also made them a prime target for staff poaching – especially so in recent times as teams come to grips with the new technical regulations for 2014.
Earlier this month, Shaun Whitehead left Red Bull to become Williams’ head of aerodynamic process, and in October, McLaren confirmed that it would have the services of Red Bull’s head of aerodynamics, Peter Prodromou, starting in 2015.
Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo has dominated all weekend long at the Monaco Grand Prix, leading every single practice session prior to qualifying.
And qualifying was more of the same for the Australian driver, whose quick lap in Q3 came in at 1:10.810, a new track record, to take the pole by more than two tenths of a second over Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
Meanwhile, Ricciardo’s teammate Max Verstappen endured a much more difficult day, which started with a hard crash in FP3.
Verstappen’s Red Bull RB14 suffered extensive damage to the right side, and even more damage was later found in the car’s gearbox. Such repairs ultimately proved too time consuming, and Verstappen will start Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix from last.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton filled out the top three by qualifying third, with Ferrari and Mercedes also taking the fourth and fifth spots on the grid, with Kimi Raikkonen in fourth and Valtteri Bottas in fifth.
Force India’s Esteban Ocon, McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, and Renault’s Carlos Sainz Jr. take up spots six, seven, and eight on the grid. Sergio Perez made it two Force Indias in Q3, qualifying ninth, while Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly qualified tenth.
Full qualifying results are below. Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix kicks off at 9:00 a.m. ET.