Szafnauer can't say when Fallows can join Aston Martin amid court case
They announced him as their new technical director.
Otmar Szafnauer has no definitive date for when Dan Fallows joins Aston Martin F1 Team from Red Bull amid court case.
The second part of the 2021 F1 season saw Aston Martin in an announcement spree of taking in new personnel for 2022 and beyond. One such big confirmation was the hiring of Red Bull's chief aerodynamicist Fallows, who was due to join at the start of this year.
But as months passed, there were stories about troubles for Fallows with Red Bull pushing him towards gardening leave. When asked Christian Horner and Szafnauer, neither revealed the behind the scenes happenings and or when he could join Aston Martin.
"That’s a process we’re going through now and I have now definitive date to give you, unfortunately," said Szafnauer. With the season done, details of an ongoing court case has emerged between Red Bull and Fallows, with the latter wanting an early release.
As per the documents seen by RacingNews365.com/Dieter Rencken of the case, Red Bull will not allow Fallows to join Aston Martin as its Technical Director without him serving his notice period. If the team wins the case, it would force him to join the team only by July 1, 2023.
Fallows has to serve a six-month notice period which comes into effect from December 31, 2022, as per his contract with Red Bull. The documents also noted that the Milton Keynes-based team removed him from any F1 related work since the news.
He was moved to Red Bull Advanced Technologies on a road car development project. But Fallows wished to still trigger an early release citing the notice to be restraint of trade. He used examples of former employees getting an early release than him.
The December 17, 2021 hearing of the court seems to be in favour of Red Bull as the judge put down the request of Fallows to go through Horner's communication regarding other employees being released early. The judge reckons everyone's case is different.
Another hearing is set for the end of January. Interestingly, this is not the first time Fallows has been involved in a court case as back in 2014, Red Bull and McLaren locked horns for his services whereby he was due to return to the former after joining the latter.
Fallows wanted to return to Red Bull in 2014 after joining McLaren the year before. The Milton Keynes-based team were to lose Peter Prodromou to McLaren then. The case was ultimately resolved out of court in a team-to-team settlement.
It remains to be seen if this case can be solved in a similar fashion as the F1 world is seeing many changes due to new regulations and budget cap. In fact, Aston Martin also is gearing up to have Eric Blandin in the aero department from Mercedes.
He is on his gardening leave, but the process seems to be a bit smoother. "It was great to be able to announce Eric and he’s a confident aerodynamicist and we look forward to having him on our team but we must respect the fact that although we buy our power trains and gearbox from Mercedes, we also compete with them, so I think Eric having to serve gardening leave is just normal," said Szafnauer.
The Austrian talks about relation between Mercedes and Red Bull.
The team were affected by the regs change along with Mercedes.
[Image courtesy: Red Bull Content Pool] [Note: This story was written on FormulaRapida.net]