Clément Pédron, Media365: published on Saturday May 21, 2022 at 10:48 am
On Friday, during the first day of testing for the Barcelona Grand Prix, the many observers in the paddock discovered two Aston Martins with a look that looked suspiciously like Red Bull. If the FIA has had nothing to say, the Austrian team will dig into the enigma…
Christian Horner saw red. Or green in this case. Yesterday, for the opening of the sixth round of the Formula 1 world championship on the Barcelona circuit, many teams brought new developments to their single-seaters, the result of long reflection and experimentation since the opening of the season. And on closer inspection, some have seen double, even quadruple. When Aston Martin opened its garages, very broad similarities were noted on the two AMR22s compared to the RB18s of the Austrian team, in particular on the floor, the sidepods or the engine cover. After a thorough inspection and the opening of an investigation, the FIA did not consider it necessary to go further. Not to the taste of Red Bull who mentioned a “prohibited data transfer”. It must be said that between the end of last season and the start of this one, around fifteen employees from the bull stable were poached by the firm of Lawrence Stroll. “At bottom, imitation is the greatest form of flattery, laughed (yellow) Friday, Christian Horner, the boss of the team at Sky Sports. It’s no coincidence that we’ve had a few people switch from Red Bull to Aston Martin this winter and at the start of the season. Earlier in the week the FIA caught our attention saying: “We have a car that looks remarkably like yours, can we have a list of your employees prying to see where they have gone?” So that immediately makes us sound the alarm.”
Any worries ahead for Aston Martin?
“What is permitted, resumes Horner, we see it, it’s going up and down in a paddock… and individuals move from one team to another after a period of notice, what they take in their head is fair play, it is their knowledge. What is not fair, and what is totally unacceptable, what we would not accept is if there was any transfer of intellectual property.” This is precisely where it gets stuck. According to Red Bull adviser Helmut Marko, he “there is evidence that data has been downloaded”. Without naming them, Christian Horner thought very hard of two men, Dan Fallows and Andrew Alessi, specialists in the aerodynamic sector, who swapped their blue outfit for green… “We have our own software safeguards, we know exactly what software is reviewed, where that software is controlled.” Horner added. But I think that’s the job of the regulator, the FIA, because they have access to it and we rely heavily on them to make sure there’s no transfer of intellectual property and abuse. So it’s up to them to monitor all of this.” However, and even if the boss trusts the governing body, he confirmed that an internal investigation was well and truly open. Answer in the next days or weeks.