Red Bull Racing has announced that it has appointed Dan Fallows as its Head of Aerodynamics at Red Bull as it has failed to convince Peter Prodromou not to head off to McLaren. Prodromou thus begins his six months of gardening leave, which means that he will not be able to join McLaren until the start of October, which will be too late to have an real impact on the 2015 car. However, McLaren has responded to Red Bull’s announcement by saying that Fallows also has a contract with McLaren!
“Dan Fallows has a legally binding contract with McLaren, and the matter is now in the hands of our lawyers,” said McLaren racing boss Eric Boullier.
In January, at the launch of the McLaren MP4-29, the team’s chief executive stated that “we’ve made some very important key additions who’ll have a significant input into our future momentum – we’re incredibly pleased and excited to have hired the likes of Peter Prodromou and Dan Fallows, both from Red Bull Racing, and Ettore Griffini and Ciaron Pilbeam from Lotus, as well as more than a dozen top-level engineers from among the best teams in Formula 1”.
Fallows graduated from Southampton University in Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1996. He immediately joined Lola Cars, where he spent four years working in the aerodynamic department before joining Jaguar racing in 2001. He stayed for four years before moving to Dallara for a year but then returned to Milton Keynes in January 2006 as an aerodynamic team leader, According to his Linkedin page, he left Red Bull Racing in February this year and the suggestion is that Red Bull has made him an offer that he cannot refuse during his period of gardening leave. While there might be a case for enticement, if Fallow has changed his mind and wants to work at Red Bull Racing, there is not much that can be done to stop him, although he (or Red Bull racing) will need to pay damages if the case goes to court. The problem is that it very difficult for a judge to quantify the damage that has been done and so any financial settlement is unlikely to be huge.