McLaren plans legal action over Red Bull's Fallows
Ron Dennis has confirmed McLaren is planning legal action regarding the contract dispute over Red Bull's head of aerodynamics Dan Fallows, though he insisted the door is still open for Christian Horner to get in touch over a resolution.
The dispute surrounds the contract Fallows signed to join McLaren in September last year, with a view to start work in March. But Red Bull announced through a press release on April 9 that Fallows had been promoted to his current role of head of aerodynamics, with no mention made of a contract elsewhere, which McLaren immediately contested. Dennis confirmed Fallows changed his mind on the matter and that McLaren feels there has been a legal breach.
"I know that in our sport we have lots of technical regulations we have to adhere to and in life there are regulations, they are called the law, and you have to adhere to that," Dennis told Sky Sports F1. "We are not happy to be contracting people in a correct and professional way only to find that those contracts are disregarded and ignored."
When asked about the matter, Horner insisted Fallows had signed a deal with people no longer at McLaren, with reports this week indicating it was a deal arranged by ousted team principal Martin Whitmarsh, adding that he was not bothered by accusations of being unethical "when it's from Ron Dennis."
"You can't force someone to work somewhere they don't want to be," Horner told Sky Sports F1. "I guess he is talking about Dan Fallows, who signed a contract with McLaren with people that aren't there anymore. It's not something that Ron's not used to, it's happened to him in the past."
But Dennis contested that assessment, insisting that a contract is legally binding regardless of who it is signed with and that he hopes to hear from Horner soon.
"No, not at all," Dennis replied when asked whether Fallows signed the deal with Whitmarsh. "In fact it wasn't signed with Martin at all, it was one of our managers. At the end of the day a contract is a contract. What I'm particularly uncomfortable with is that people don't just change their minds, they are induced to change their minds and breach contracts.
"It's just wrong and not the right way to go through life, we can either just ignore it or do something about it. As with everything in law there are mechanisms available to everyone to bring out the truth."
"It's for Christian [Horner] to reach out. We did everything to ascertain that they knew there was a contract, we sent the messages out and they were ignored. We are all here to win but there are ways to win, and I want to win the way McLaren wins, whether it's a grand prix or whether it involves people or processes.
"My door is open, I'm a 24/7 guy, that's how you get the job done. He knows my mobile number and he can give me a call any time."