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Fallows: Aston Martin growth similar to early days of Red Bull

Aston Martin F1 technical director Dan Fallows has compared his team's current growth to the early period of advancement of Red Bull, his former outfit.

Fallows left his role as head of aerodynamics at Red Bull last year to undertake a new challenge as the lead man in charge of Aston's design department, a task started last spring at the Silverstone-based outfit.

Fallows started building his credentials as an engineer with the Jaguar team in the early 2000s and evolved along with the outfit after it was acquired by Red Bull, eventually transforming itself into a major player in F1 and ultimately into a championship winning team.

Six months into his new employment with Aston Martin, Fallows admits to a sense of déjà-vu, saying that his new team's ongoing development and the spirit the spurs it on is reminiscent of the early growth and enthusiasm he witnessed at Red Bull Racing.


"One of the most exciting parts of the Red Bull journey was when the team evolved from Jaguar," he explained in an interview published this week on the Aston Martin F1 website.

"A small team with a very limited budget suddenly had significantly more budget, more resource, and more technical strength right at the top of the organisation.

"Watching the team grow, being part of that growth, being part of the success, even making mistakes along the way and learning from them, it was incredibly exciting.

"What's happening at Aston Martin F1 right now feels very similar to what happened at Red Bull then.

It's early days still for Fallows at Aston, but so far the British engineer has liked what he has seen, and more importantly what he hopes to bring to Lawrence Stroll's ambitious F1 outfit.

"It's been a fascinating journey so far and I've only been here several months," he said.

"The most striking thing for me is that Aston Martin F1 still feels like a race team – everyone is very supportive of each other.

"When a team grows significantly in a very short amount of time, it can become unwieldy and departments don't talk to each other properly. But the lines of communication are very simple and clear here – we need to make sure we don't lose that.

"The high quality of the people that we have at Aston Martin F1 has really impressed me. The engineering talent really is at the level that it needs to be – great ideas, really good creativity.

"All that's been not quite there is a unified clarity of purpose – and that's what I hope to help bring.

"It's all about having an eye on what you're trying to achieve on the racetrack, right from the outset of designing the car."


Leaving behind one of the most successful teams in F1 history for an up-and-coming outfit is a brave move. Fallows explained the motivation that encouraged him to jump on board Aston's project.

"I wanted a new challenge," he said. "The most rewarding times in my career have been when I'm presented with a challenge, and I've gone on to overcome that challenge.

"It's not just the challenge, though, it's the opportunity to be part of something that goes from being something modest to something spectacular.

"There's serious ambition at Aston Martin F1 – from Lawrence Stroll at the very top, right the way through the entire team.

"So, to be asked to join the team on its journey, but also given the resources that I have, is incredibly exciting.

"It's incredibly exciting when someone puts that level of faith in you, when they're essentially saying, 'Here's a Formula One team, turn it into what you want, get the people you want, run it how you want, make it successful – make your mark.'

"I took on this challenge because I felt that things could be done differently," he added.

"It's not about doing things the Red Bull way, or the Mercedes way, or the Ferrari way. It's about coming up with a better way – the Aston Martin way.

"If you stay in the same place and you're successful, you're going to carry on doing the same thing – and that becomes kind of boring."

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Phillip van Osten

Motor racing was a backdrop from the outset in Phillip van Osten's life. Born in Southern California, Phillip grew up with the sights and sounds of fast cars thanks to his father, Dick van Osten, an editor and writer for Auto Speed and Sport and Motor Trend. Phillip's passion for racing grew even more when his family moved to Europe and he became acquainted with the extraordinary world of Grand Prix racing. He was an early contributor to the monthly French F1i Magazine, often providing a historic or business perspective on Formula 1's affairs. In 2012, he co-authored along with fellow journalist Pierre Van Vliet the English-language adaptation of a limited edition book devoted to the great Belgian driver Jacky Ickx. He also authored "The American Legacy in Formula 1", a book which recounts the trials and tribulations of American drivers in Grand Prix racing. Phillip is also a commentator for Belgian broadcaster Be.TV for the US Indycar series.

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