Head: Red Bull Racing appoint new head of aero as Prodromou goes on ‘gardening leave’
Red Bull Racing
Posted By: Justin Hynes  |  09 Apr 2014   |  11:57 am GMT  |  77 comments

Red Bull Racing this morning announced that Dan Fallows has been appointed Head of Aerodynamics, with Peter Prodromou going on ‘gardening leave’ in advance of his move to McLaren.

McLaren announced last October they had signed Prodromou but Red Bull Racing insisted that would do their best to hold on to one of their key men, with team boss Christian Horner saying that Prodromou’s contract “runs for quite a while yet”.

With no further news of the aerodynamicist’s departure coming to light over the winter it seemed that the champions had won the battle to keep the highly regarded technician – until today.

He will be replaced at Red Bull Racing by Dan Fallows. Right-hand man to Prodromou, Fallows left the team at the end of last year, with his destination expected to be McLaren and reunion with Prodromou. However, it seems he has been lured back to Milton Keynes by the offer of the more senior post.

Prodromou’s career was forged at McLaren. He joined the Woking squad in 1991 and worked closely with Adrian Newey and when Newey moved to Red Bull Racing at the end of the 2005 season, Prodromou also made the switch. Since then he’s been heavily involved in each of Red Bull’s four championship-winning designs.

 

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1

I Nsthink by not releasing pp early RedBull are setting the scene for anyone doing deals with them. f, when, they are struggle at some point they might need the support of other teams and not rely simply on Austrian cash. Not sure they are rolling the wicket very well if you ask me.

Friends close and all that

2

Personally i think anyone would be mad to walk away from what will be a Mclaren/Honda reunion think Mercedes are doing a good job wait til next season if not then the next and onwards!

3

Pursuing legal action against Fallows is such a stupid idea if you ask me.

If he doesn’t want to stay at McLaren then they shouldn’t want to keep him either! There’s no point in having a disappointed employee at such a high level.

The case will obviously settle so what McLaren is after is not keeping Fallows, but getting good compensation. Red Bull said the same about trying to keep Prodromou until his contract ends, but apparently McLaren paid or Red Bull had a good talk with Prodromou and they decided it was better to part amicably.

4

Even if he doesnt want to join Mclaren his Reputation is at stake and Mclaren would not be dumb enough to sign someone up without some performance clauses in place. If Mclaren sacked him mid season he may not have any available jobs in Formula 1.

If he doesnt want to join Mclaren then he should’ve thought about that before he signed.

5

James , do you have any info on whether Dan Fallows and Peter Prodromou were both approached at the same time ?. It makes sense that once PP left DF was offered the head role at RBR. Otherwise I cannot see why he would stay given he signed a contract..Also RBR would not even contemplate fighting it legally

6

Cue the cries of “Newey didn’t win those titles, Prodromou did”?

7

hello james, why have you rejected my post about the red bull aero department? it was relevant to the topic and factual. it is true that redbull gave adrian newey shares in the company. it is also true that he built more durable cars at redbull than he did at mclaren. and finally it’s true that he asked for shares at mclaren and they refused him.

on what grounds was it rejected? please let me know so that I can post inline with your guidelines.

8

We didn’t.

It has been posted, as far as we can see

9

i apologise james, it was my fault. i looked in the wrong place. i have since found it with egg on my face.

10

Even if Dan Fallows HAS signed a valid contract with McLaren, it’ll be almost impossible (and entirely self-defeating) to make him work for them if he doesn’t want to.

They can get some damages (which no doubt Red Bull have already told Dan they’ll cover). And in doing so they’ll send a warning to other staff not to cross them. I think that’s it, unless there’s an FIA rule covering this.

McLaren’s best tactic is probably to ask Dan whether he really wants the pitlane to know that his signature means nothing.

As for trading this against a reduction in Peter Prodromu’s notice, I imagine Red Bull would rather pay the damages. It might be different if there was a budget cap because the damages are effectively a staff cost.

11

It would seem that McLaren is imitating the path of acquisition of it’s competitor’s tech staff which Mercedes executes over the past few years. Long term this will see a clash of titanic porportions in 2016 between Mercedes and McLaren/Honda if the tech regs remain stable.

12

While Merc personnel were hard at work with their engines/PUs for the last 3 years, RedBull and Renault personnel were cooling their balls in the pool… serves them right 🙂

13

More like cooling them in their wind tunnel..:)

14

Hi Hynes,

I thought Dan Fallows signed a contract with McLaren. I hope there won’t be a dispute between Red Bull/Dan Fallows and McLaren.

15

McLaren and Red Bull in legal dispute over Dan Fallows… http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/113367

16

I would not be surprised if more Designers and Engineers do not leave Red Bull. It cannot be a very good working environment at Milton Keynes with the bosses moaning and groaning all the time. Last year they moaned about the tyres. This year they continually moan about the regs. and Renault, I wish they spent more time encouraging their workforce and stop moaning about the PU and encourage Renault.

I don’t think I would like to work there in that type of atmosphere.

I haven’t heard Renault moaning and groaning just working hard to get their PU up to scratch, if Red Bull attitude goes on much longer Renault may put two fingers up and go off to support Lotus completely.

17

I would not be surprised if my Designers and Engineers do not leave Red Bull. It cannot be a very good working environment at Milton Keynes with the bosses moaning and groaning all the time. Last year they moaned about the tyres. This year they continually moan about the regs. and Renault, I wish they spent more time encouraging their workforce and stop moaning about the PU and encourage Renault.

I don’t think I would like to work there in that type of atmosphere.

I haven’t heard Renault moaning and groaning just working hard to get their PU up to scratch, if Red Bull attitude goes on much longer Renault may put two fingers up and go off to support Lotus completely.

18

Prodromou has left for Merc engine pastures, I wonder how much talent would drain away from Renault and Ferrari powered teams. One can only wonder how many unsolicited CV’s Mercedes Petronas received these days?

Team staff movements are going to add another dimension to Merc’s engine dominance. Its going to be a mad dash to Merc engine paradise… F1 standings on their head from now.

I wonder if Prodromou will be on the move again if McLarens 2015 Honda engine turns out to be another damp squib?

19

McLaren also think Fallows is their man. Meanwhile, McLaren and Red Bull lawyers start pondering their next luxury holiday for after the usual “he has a contract”/”no he doesn’t” court case.

20

I bet Dan Fallows is having mixed feelings about that promotion now – given Red Bull’s drop in performance since when he was due to get the job!

21

I don’t know, they still look better than McLaren this season.

22

I’m a bit surprised somebody would leave Red Bull for McLaren, a bigger salary excluded.

Red Bull have a very different operating environment than McLaren; much more “hands on”, down to earth, a emphasis on work/fun and fun/work rotas – “we work hard and play hard” to quote Christian. Above all, Red Bull have an excellent and productive CFD system/partner in Ansys, who together with the excellent wind-tunnel facilities, have provided Adrian and the Milton Keynes lads and lasses the tools to design the aerodynamically best chassis for the last five seasons.

McLaren are due to start an exciting new partnership with Honda, but their technical team lacks the vision, direction and clarity of thought at the minute to compete with Red Bull and Mercedes. I suspect McLaren may need a structural change in its organisation in order to get on terms with its competitors if it wants to win WDC/Constructors.

23

Anyone spouting that awful “work hard – play hard” nonsense should be arrested by the cliche police for crimes against the english language.

24

If you were employed at Macca, it would be you work hard, don’t smile, don’t joke, don’t laugh, don’t think for yourself.

Even Jezza, when he tested the MP4-12C, noted that even technically brilliant, there was a certain coldness about it, almost antiseptic.

25
dimitar kadrinski

Like Elie said, I doubt anyone has better facilities than McLaren. The started investing in CFD and simulator long before any other team on the grid. I also believe that macca have the best organisational structure of all F1 teams. If you are a scientist would you want to work for a RB (drinks company that can pull out completely at any time) or McLaren that have state of the art facilities and so many exciting projects (businesses) you can work on…

26

My point was that Red Bull seem to have a much more fun atmosphere, everyone always seems motivated, fresh and ready. Also, I’ve posted that Adrian left Woking because of the constant interference and jobworths at Macca which he found tiresome.

Still, lets look at the facts.

Red Bull Since 2009 – 4 WDC and 4 constructors titles. I doubt they will make it 5 in a row this year, but they are still competitive.

Macca since 2009 – they have won the FA CUP. As in sweet FA. And lets not forget the dogs dinner that was 2013………

27

Dimitar – you are right, a big budget does help. Red Bull spent the most in 2013 and won the constructors title, Mercedes had the 2nd biggest budget and finished 2nd in the constructors, Ferrari were the 3rd biggest spenders…………….you are right, there is a correlation between budget and success, no doubt about that!

I would say that Red Bull’s big advantage over McLaren at this moment in time is a design time with vision, direction and clarity of thought. Add on lots of dosh, and in my opinion are a more balanced working environment than Macca, and it isn’t surprising the Milton Keynes mob have smashed the Woking brigade’s faces in over the last 5 years!

28
dimitar kadrinski

I understand where are you coming from with your comment, but the so called fun and relax atmosphere is the RB PR image. It is a PR show in the garage, but dont for a second think that back in the factory it is the same. Also they have won the last 4 doubles not because of the fun atmosphere (although it MIGHT have helped a little bit), but mainly due to the fact that they pulled out of the gentleman’s agreement on budget cuts and poured in all the moneys they could into it… They have effectively bought them… I know its not only about the money as it has been proven many times before in F1, but huge budgets do help!

29

I doubt very much anyone has better facilities / CFD than Mclaren. The reason people hire such gurus is that they find the designs that work. Either in the design or getting it from CFD/ Wind Tunnel to the actual car- this why they are so sought after. But i agree wholly with the culture difference its probably like :- Mclaren – science lab , Red Bull – gym .- again I think its the culture that needs to change not so much the structure.. Similar issues with Ferrari 20th cent mentality it in a booming 21st cent..

30

Do you know what, money can buy most things, but it can’t buy that feel good, all mates together atmosphere at Red Bull.

One of the reasons Adrian moved to Milton Keynes was because he felt stifled and was annoyed at the managerial interference at Macca. Christian tempted Adrian to Bull with the opportunity for Adrian to muck in with the lads and to have had a hands on approach, similar to when Adrian was at Williams.

And hasn’t that approach paid off…………

31

Isn’t credit to his work sort of related to joy and happiness……..???

That is right about Williams and Macca not offering Adrian shares, but also Adrian disagreed with Frank about letting Damon go after the end of 1996 and also the fact that Mr Newey hadn’t been promoted at Williams after six years; and also at McLaren he was driven to distraction by constant interference from Ron and Martin.

Yes, Adrian gets a much bigger salary at Milton Keynes than he would have done at Woking or Grove, and that is a good point. I would say he seems much happier at Red Bull because Christian has allowed Adrian to run things his way.

32

Gaz Boy, as far as I remember, Newey left McLaren (and Williams as well) not for the joy and happiness in Red Bull, but because he didn’t feel he received enough credit (glory) for his work… And, by the way, because both refused to give him shares.

33

looks like redbull’s falling apart. lucky they gave newey those shares, it’s in his best interest to keep the value of those shares high. so he’s not going anywhere in a hurry.

34

Meanwhile McLaren has announced to unleash their lawyers, because they claim to have a valid contract with Dan Fallows.

35

I was wandering what was going on with Prodromou, glad to hear he’s going back to McLaren who have been responsible for many of the technical stars of F1, though I do wish aerodynamics was a much smaller part of the equation.

It would be too much to hope that after building a dog last year the 2014 McLaren would set the world on fire but with Ron at the helm and a few of the stars returning to the fold 2015 should be quite a different story.

Now all we need is for Ferrari to get their act together and the sparks should start to fly !

36

And now we have McLaren’s statement about binding contract with Fallows…

Looks like it will be an interesting fight =)

37

So perhaps the Red Bull cars shod have been named RB-6,7,8,9 PP & the 2015 Mclaren should MP4-30PP.

In a diff topic just heard Ferrari tested at Bahrain using Raikkonens chassis which they discovered was broken & will not be used again- Thought to be result of the kerb launch inFP!- No wonder he struggled Sunday- & why on earth would they give Fernando-Kimis chasis to start with-maybe so he could see how Kimis special parts work !!

38

And Ferrari are re-designating this year’s car the T4X1 :-

39

I still think its a duck – it looks like it has a beak and does go quack quack..

40
kenneth chapman

errr…..it seems as though this fallows chap has a signed contract with mclaren? that is if one can believe some of the reports.

41

Fact remains – RBR have tons to do in order to catch up to the Mercs.

This is Merc’s title to lose.

I think we will see a different picture next year.

42

More like RENAULT have tonnes to do. All their teams are down 10-15% on HP, Torque, drivability and fuel consumption.

43
dimitar kadrinski

So it was the case in the last four years, in which RB won four doubles….

44

Yes, but not to the same magnitude. The Renaults power 2.4 V8 were down on power, but not by the same degree as today, and they were supposed to be more fuel efficient.

With the rule change and aerodynamics being less important than the the “power units”, the Renault deficiencies are more prominent and more difficult to mask.

45

100% correct. Also think that there is a fuel issue as well (some fuel suppliers have a better “mix” that allow better engine performance).

Whats the next step for Redbull?

46

Very simple. Get Mercedes engines for next season, when McLaren vacate them. Of course this might not be liked that much at Mercedes works team, so it might not happen.

47

Off topic. James, could we have an article on Ferrari’s situation, future etc. please? Must be a very interesting an complex story. Thanks.

48

Agree..would also want to understand. What needs to happen for ferrari to get back to winning ways

49

A year or two to at least somewhat catch up engine wise and then get the top 1-2 players on the aero/engineering department maybe? 😛

Last time ferrari managed to do anything they had that + the undisputed top driver on the grid + a few years to get there.

Can’t say it’s looking good for ferrari, they always have the 3rd/4th car on the grid and now they also have a deficit on the engine department bringing them further down to the 5th-6th spot which I can’t see how they can manage to overcome, this or even next year considering the engines are supposed to not be getting any development/new design (unless there’s something i’m missing and they actually can)

50

And latest news is McLaren are legally contesting Fallows’ appointment with Red Bull.

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