Aston Martin’s incoming Formula 1 technical director Dan Fallows will join the team from Red Bull earlier than expected, in April.
Fallows was most recently Red Bull’s head of aerodynamics and his current employer has not made it easy for Aston Martin to get its hands on its new recruit.
As his contract with Red Bull runs until 2023 there was initially a suggestion he may be held to its entire duration, or placed on extensive gardening leave.
Fallows was thought to have been removed from his factory position late last year and the expectation was he would therefore join Aston Martin before the end of 2022.
However, there has been a court case between Fallows and Red Bull in the last couple of months as it transpired Fallows had attempted to resign after he was reassigned to non-F1 work within Red Bull Technologies.
Red Bull rejected his resignation and contended that not only was Fallows contracted until the end of 2022, he also had a clause preventing him from working for another team until six months after the end of his contract.
The initial ruling was in Red Bull’s favour in December but the case was set to continue later this month.
Now, Red Bull and Aston Martin have released a joint statement confirming Fallows will begin work with Aston Martin on April 2, 2022 and remain a Red Bull Technology employee until then.
The statement included perfunctory comments from Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, Aston Martin Performance Technologies group CEO Martin Whimarsh and Fallows himself.
“We would like to thank Dan for his many years of excellent service and wish him well for the future,” said Horner.
Whitmarsh said: “We are pleased to have reached an agreement with Red Bull which releases Dan early from his contract and are looking forward to him joining the team.”
Fallows’ statement does not acknowledge Aston Martin by name.
“I’ve enjoyed many happy years at Red Bull Racing and am proud of what we achieved,” he said.
“I am looking forward to next season and a new challenge.”
This is the second time Fallows’ employment has resulted in a complicated wrangle between Red Bull and a rival.
He was set to join McLaren several years ago before Red Bull convinced him to stay – a row that led to McLaren threatening court action that it eventually dropped.
Fallows is a major recruitment by Aston Martin and one of many under Lawrence Stroll’s ownership designed to make the team a title challenger by 2025.