McLaren taking Red Bull staff dispute to high court

Ron Dennis in Shanghai

Ron Dennis in Shanghai

McLaren supremo Ron Dennis on Saturday confirmed that his team will likely take their dispute with world champions Red Bull all the way to the High Court.

Earlier this month, new team boss Eric Boullier said the matter is “in the hands of our lawyers”, after Red Bull announced that they had successfully wooed Dan Fallows back to Milton Keynes.

Late last year, we reported that, as well as Red Bull’s aerodynamics chief Peter Prodromou, McLaren has also signed his ‘deputy’, Fallows.

But just as Fallows was ending his ‘gardening leave’ and due to start work at McLaren, Red Bull announced that he has in fact returned to work as the reigning world champions’ newly-promoted ‘head of aerodynamics’.

McLaren, however, insist that they have a “legally binding contract” with Fallows.

“We regard this turn of events as completely unacceptable,” Dennis, who revealed that Fallows had even moved to Surrey prior to returning to Red Bull, told us in a statement from Shanghai.

“He’d got no lawful right to change his mind in that way, because he’d already accepted our offer of employment and had already signed a contract in recognition of that,” he insisted.

“Not surprisingly, when he failed to start work on the start date we’d agreed on, we called, texted and emailed him, but got no response.

“It was only when he was belatedly revealed via press release as Red Bull’s head of aerodynamics that we finally understood what had happened.

“As a result of all of this, McLaren will probably have no realistic option other than to instigate a High Court action against Red Bull,” Dennis confirmed.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner reacted to Dennis’ comments on Saturday by saying the team will “vigorously” defend its re-employment of Fallows.

“We don’t see [that] there is any case to answer,” he told Press Association.

“Perhaps Ron would have been better [off] giving me a call.” (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.