By Matt Morlidge in Barcelona
Last Updated: 20/05/22 2:04pm
Aston Martin have been cleared to use their new-look car despite its similarities to Red Bull’s after an FIA investigation confirmed there had been “no wrongdoing” and that the upgrades were “compliant”.
Many teams have brought major upgrades to the Spanish GP but Aston Martin’s significantly different AMR22 has stood out because of its several similar features to the Red Bull, which is currently F1’s fastest car.
F1 has been keen to stamp out ‘copycat’ attempts in recent years, and Aston Martin, formerly known as Racing Point, were actually penalised back in 2020 for a car dubbed a ‘Pink Mercedes’.
With the new car nicknamed a ‘green Red Bull’ this week, Red Bull had been questioning the updates.
But Aston Martin had been insistent that they designed the car over the winter, and the FIA confirmed the car passed a a ‘pre-event legality check’ in Barcelona.
“During this [legality check], it became apparent that a number of features on the Aston Martin resembled those of another competitor,” read a statement from F1’s governing body.
“The FIA therefore launched an investigation to check compliance with Article 17.3 of the Technical Regulations, and in particular the topic of ‘Reverse Engineering’ and potential illicit IP transfer.
“Both teams collaborated fully with the FIA in this investigation and provided all the relevant information.
“The investigation, which involved CAD checks and a detailed analysis of the development process adopted by Aston Martin, confirmed that no wrongdoing had been committed, and therefore the FIA considers that the Aston Martin aerodynamic upgrades are compliant.”
The FIA said Article 17.3 “specifically defines and prohibits ‘Reverse Engineering’, i.e. the digital process of converting photographs (or other data) to CAD models, and prohibits IP transfer between teams, but equally, this Article permits car designs getting influenced by those of competitors, as has always been the case in Formula 1.”
“In the analysis we carried out we confirmed that the processes followed by Aston Martin were consistent with this Article’s requirements.”
Explaining the Aston Martin controversy
Sky Sports’ Ted Kravitz
“Many were calling it a Red Bull lookalike Aston Martin
“Red Bull were questioning because there has been some movement from some people from Red Bull to Aston Martin over the winter and over the last few months and there were some questions from Red Bull over whether those people had taken any data with them.
“Of course that would be breaking their contract with leaving Red Bull.
“That is hotly denied by Aston Martin and they say they have shared the detail of their latest update with the FIA and all their people.
“The FIA have been to the factory at Silverstone to look at the data and all of the processes used to create this new update package which looks like the Red Bull and the FIA have confirmed to Aston Martin, in writing, that their new update has been generated as a result of legitimate, independent work by Aston Martin themselves within the technical regulations.”
More to follow…