Espionage: Red Bull suspects its former aero chief of leaking to Aston Martin

Espionage: Red Bull suspects its former aero chief of leaking to Aston Martin

The sight of the pontoons of the Aston Martin AMR 22 made the Red Bull Racing staff jump on Thursday at Montmelo. On the occasion of the first tests of the Grand Prix of Spain, the sixth round of the World Cup, the single-seater of Silverstone appeared deeply modified in its forms, in a disturbing way. The superb “British racing green” it sports is fortunately there to distinguish it, otherwise it looks unmistakably in its central part to its rival Red Bull RB18, which its designers have obviously taken as a model in its new version.

It would normally be difficult to go on this slippery slope of a carbon copy, but the Silverstone team is not at its first attempt. Under the name of Racing Point, its 2020 RP20 had taken over the bodywork of the 2019 Mercedes in every way, to the point of being called “the pink Mercedes”.

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Racing Point had claimed to have duplicated the shapes of the German machine, queen of the circuits, from photos. She was suspected of having worked on a wind tunnel model of the W10 and was sentenced for the use of brake parts from the 2019 Mercedes which were no longer part of the elements of another car in 2020. a team can recycle.

Fallows in the crosshairs of Red Bull

On Friday, the FIA ​​published a document explaining that it had investigated the means used by Aston Martin to copy bodywork elements from the Red Bull and found no exchange of data. what the Austrian team was quick to react to.

Red Bull took note of the FIA ​​note with interestRed Bull Racing said in a statement. While imitation is the greatest form of flattery, any design replication must of course comply with FIA regulations on ‘reverse engineering’. However, if a transfer of intellectual property has taken place, it is clearly a violation of the regulations and it would be a serious problem..”

“Reverse engineering” is the politically correct term for copying. In this case, Red Bull does not dispute this right of Aston Martin, deemed perfectly legal by the FIA. On the other hand, the team led by Christian Horner disputes the way. The English manager, who taxes the AMR 22 with “very close looking clone“of RB18, suspects an illicit transfer of data from former employees who joined the Silverstone team.

Without mentioning it, Christian Horner is targeting Dan Fallows, his chief aerodynamicist for 15 years, who officially joined Aston Martin as technical director on April 2. And who has hardly had time to import ideas from Red Bull and put them in place on the car of Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll in such a short time.

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