McLaren says they will pursue legal action in High Court over the employment issue regarding aerodynamic’s man Dan Fallows. The team says it had a legally binding contract and Dan had moved near Woking and was on gardening leave until March of this year. Fallows had left Red Bull to join McLaren but seemed to have a change of heart.
Red Bull announced several days ago that Fallows was re-joining the team which hasn’t gone down well with McLaren boss Ron Dennis. Dennis told AUTOSPORT:
“Sadly, it’s now likely that McLaren will have no alternative other than to pursue a High Court action against Red Bull, which will ask very serious questions as to that team’s integrity and sense of fair play,” Dennis said in an exclusive AS interview by Mr. Noble.
It seems that McLaren feel they have a contract with Fallows and that the aero man had no reason to change his position:
“The problem was, he had no legal basis on which to make that U-turn because he’d already formally accepted, and contracted himself to, our offer of employment.”
When McLaren attempted to reach out to Fallows to discuss the surprise announcement by Red Bull, there was no reciprocation:
“Worse, our attempts to contact him were met with stony silence. The mystery was only solved many weeks later, when he was suddenly announced as Red Bull’s head of aero.”
McLaren had poached Red Bull’s aero man, Peter Prodromou, back in October of 2013 and it was revealed on April 9th that Fallows would be replacing Prodromou as head of aerodynamics for the Austrian team.
I’m not familiar with British employment law but this will be an interesting case to follow because as F1 becomes more and more technical, poaching drivers may not be the biggest moves made in Silly Season—poaching grey matter will. James Allison, Pat Fry, Peter Prodromou, Pat Symonds, Eric Boullier and many more have all moved teams recently and taken their intellectual property with them.
As Flavio Briatore implied during the Spygate scandal, why steal technical manuals when all you have to do is hire engineers from a competitive team? So the boffins have become a bigger story than the drivers? Who would have thought such a day would arrive? Having said that, would you want a guy working for you that did this? Most likely not and that’s probably not what Ron is after rather the damages in cash over the legality of the situation.
They have Prodromou but I’m sure getting Fallows would be a real addition as well. Red Bull, on the other hand, most likely needed to replace Pedromou but it would be interesting to know Fallows left Red Bull in the first place? Who knows? Maybe he’s jut tired of working with Peter.