Red Bull consultant Helmut Marko questioned how the Aston Martin Green Bull copycat car came about if, as is suggested, former Red Bull personnel did not put data on a USB before they departed their desks at Milton Keynes.
Aston Martin stunned the paddock with their updated AMR22’s blatant rip-off of the Red Bull RB18’s side pods. The FIA took good look at the updated car – now dubbed the Green Bull – and gave it a clean bill of health. No copycat here, move on is the message.
But that’s not going to happen in a hurry as Red Bull and Marko are not convinced that what we see in the Aston Martin AMR22 comes from the memory of their former engineers, led by Dan Fallows, who defected to Lawrence Stroll’s mega project.
Marko told Sky Germany: “Now they must clarify how this incredible copy came about. As things stand, it’s ok. Copying isn’t forbidden, but you also have to take into account that seven people were poached from us and that our chief aerodynamicist was brought to Aston Martin for a disproportionate amount of money.
“There are also some facts that we are investigating. We will investigate this in great detail. It’s not just Dan Fallows. There is evidence that data has been downloaded. It’s just the question: copying is probably not prohibited, to begin with, but can you copy without documents in such a way that you can get such a detailed copy of our car?” Marko questioned.
Whatever the case, the upgraded Aston Martin has a Bullish look to it for the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend and, with it, better apparently better performance during practice running on Friday. Thus no denying the copying exercise has worked.
Vettel: It feels like we are moving in the right direction
Aston Martin’s four-time F1 World Champion, Sebastian Vettel was cautiously optimistic when he reported after FP2 yesterday: “It feels like we are moving in the right direction, but we must remember that this is the first day of our running this car.
“You cannot make many comparisons to pre-season testing because the weather and track conditions are so different, so there is still a lot to learn and understand.
“Still, it is positive to end today inside the top 10, but let’s see how we go across the weekend. We do not expect immediate results, but we want to continue to make progress,” added Vettel.
Red Bull clearly have unfinished business with regards to the copycat Green Bull according to Marko who revealed they continue to investigate the ‘leak’ at the Milton Keynes HQ and add substance to the allegations he made that “there is evidence that data has been downloaded.”
Should this be the case, it will be explosive and could get Stroll’s Aston Martin team into trouble again if not more so (remember the $100-million fine McLaren was served for similar offences in 2007) as it did when Stroll’s is said to have mandated the team to copy the 2019 Mercedes W10.
What resulted was the Racing Point RP20 aka the Pink Mercedes which caused an uproar when it was unveiled. Not long after that, Renault launched a protest which the FIA upheld and fined Racing Point €400,000 and 15 points deducted from the 2020 F1 Constructors’ World Championship.
It was expensive, but it could be chump change if their latest escapades are indeed found to be illegal. For now, the FIA are satisfied. Not so Red Bull… Watch this space!