Aston Martin is in trouble again because of a supposed copy! While the previous racing team, Racing Point, was mockingly called the “pink Mercedes” in 2020 because there were clear similarities with the W10 from the previous year, the mockery of the “green Red Bull” is now haunting the paddock.
Because when Aston Martin unpacked the B version of its AMR22 in Barcelona, it surprisingly looked like the Red Bull RB18. Vettel’s new racer was very similar to Max Verstappen’s car at first glance.
“Copying is not strictly forbidden,” said Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko on Sky, but also noted: “There is evidence that data was downloaded.”
The comparability was not only noticed by the competition, but also by the world motorsport association FIA, which initiated an investigation to check the cars for Article 17.3 of the technical regulations. It’s about the so-called Listed Team Components – i.e. those components that each team has to produce on their own.
The FIA knew before the weekend and paid a visit to Aston Martin at Silverstone on Tuesday and Wednesday. The result: The Aston Martin is not a Red Bull copy! “The investigation confirms that there has been no misconduct,” the association announced.
“We have briefed FIA technicians on the details of our update. After analyzing the data and the processes used to create the update, the FIA has now confirmed in writing that our update has been created as the result of legitimate independent work in accordance with the Technical Regulations.
The racing team had to react after the weak start to the season. With just six points, Aston Martin is only second to last and was clearly too slow in the first five races of the season. That’s why Barcelona decided to take a radical step.
Allegedly, the new concept should not be copied from Red Bull, but planned for a long time.
“If we had only started the program after the first race, we would never have been able to put two B versions on the wheels by Barcelona,” an engineer is quoted as saying by ‘auto motor und sport’.
Instead, Aston Martin planned with two concepts right from the start because you didn’t know which way would be the right one. At first it looked like the A version, which spit out better values and was therefore pursued. But now the switch to the B specification follows, which is said to have been worked on since November.
“Our chassis is designed to be relatively flexible, so we can change direction again,” confirms team boss Mike Krack at Sky. “And we launched different programs and at some point decided we had to go in a different direction. But that was long before that any cars were already public.”
At the time, there was no way of knowing which concept Red Bull would pursue, even if some of the staff – like chief aerodynamicist Dan Fallows – had been poached from the bulls. However, he only began his work in April of this year and had no influence.
According to Marko, Fallows changed sides for a “disproportionate fee”. The allegations left Krack cold – especially since Aston Martin emphasizes that they also hired employees from Mercedes – but they didn’t go their way, although the suspension and transmission were purchased.
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Despite the green light from the FIA, Aston Martin cannot completely dispel the doubts. “It was not without reason that the Red Bull people stood in front of the pits yesterday, looked at it and sometimes shook their heads,” says Sky expert Timo Glock.
He, too, is surprised: “Of course you can’t copy everything exactly, but even the air outlets, these black stripes that you see on the Aston Martin, you can also see them on the Red Bull. So you looked at it a lot and tried to copy it.” , he says.
That’s why Red Bull doesn’t want to accept the (provisional) FIA verdict. “We will investigate the matter in detail,” said Marko. “One must now clarify how this incredible copy came about.”
New features on the Aston Martin include the side box, underbody, engine cover, rear wing and halo. But the new concept also required quite a bit of under-the-hood adjustments, as the radiators and the ducting that feed them all had to be realigned to support the aerodynamic concept.
Previously, the AMR22’s internal components were more horizontally arranged, allowing for the use of a much larger undercut under the sidepod bodywork.
The new arrangement required the team to move away from this design direction and realign the components within the sidepod, resulting in bodywork very similar to Red Bull’s favored split design.
This design affinity also extends to the arcuate cooling panel that transitions into the bodywork panel behind the halo on the sidepod, the configuration of the dual edge braces, and the underbody edge with its kick-up panel slotted in the middle.
This article was written by Norman Fischer
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The original of this post “Dispute over the “green Red Bull”: Is Vettel’s new car illegally copied?” comes from Motorsport-Total.com.