Red Bull take to courts in battle to block Aston Martin taking key member of staff

Max Verstappen prevails in world title shoot-out

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Red Bull will take legal action to stop their former chief engineer of aerodynamics joining Aston Martin. Dan Fallows, perceived as a crucial influence in Max Verstappen’s dramatic F1 world title win last season, joined as team leader in 2006, but has risen in stature through the years to sit under chief technical officer Adrian Newey.

However, midway through last season Red Bull confirmed he would be leaving his position to join Aston Martin, who under Lawrence Stroll are making bold investments in a bid to compete for future F1 titles.

The team released a statement at the time that said: “We can confirm that our Head of Aerodynamics, Dan Fallows, will be joining Aston Martin as Technical Director and we would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his dedication and accomplishments throughout his 15-year career with the team.

“Dan joined Red Bull Racing in 2006 as Team Leader in our aerodynamics department, helping the team to its first podiums, victories and world titles.

“In 2014 Dan was promoted to Head of Aerodynamics, helping shape the Team’s progress through Formula 1’s hybrid era and its rise to renewed competitiveness.”

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In November, Mercedes also confirmed they too would be losing key personnel, in the form of Chief Aerodynamicist Eric Blandin, to Aston Martin.

However, has reported that Red Bull are now pulling out all the stops to try and ensure that Fallows, 48, can’t take up his role as technical and director with Stroll and co for the 2022 season.

Fallows’ contract stipulates a six-month gardening leave period, which would techincally expire in time for him to start work in his new role prior to the next F1 campaign.

However, Red Bull are arguing that the six-month period can only be instigated when his current deal runs out on December 31 of this year.

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Essentially, that would mean Fallows could not join Aston Martin until midway through 2023, one-and-a-half seasons after his intended start date.

Red Bull has taken the matter to England and Wales High Court, and an initial hearing held back on December 17 ruled in their favour.

A second court hearing is now due to take place between January 25-28, with Fallows said to be angered by his former team trying to delay the move.

Having began his F1 career working with Jaguar Racing in 2002, Fallows has been at the centre of controversy before, agreeing in principal to join McLaren before reversing his decision when Red Bull offered to up his wages. 

Under Stroll, 52, Aston Martin have been unveiling grand plans, with the owner currently overseeing the construction of the team’s new state-of-the-art headquarters.

The project, which will cost between £150-£200million, has a target completion date of early 2023, and includes a new main building which will contain the design office. A second building will contain the new wind tunnel.

The current main building will be replaced with a third building that will contain a wellness centre, auditorium, simulator and heritage facility.

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