Aston Martin tech chief Andrew Green calls accusations of copying Red Bull ‘wide of the mark’
Aston Martin Chief Technical Officer Andrew Green has brushed off any implication that his team copied the design of the Red Bull RB18 after Christian Horner said that his squad would be conducting an “internal investigation” into the matter.
Ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, where major upgrades have been implemented by numerous teams, including Mercedes and Ferrari, Aston Martin also updated their car, causing Horner to say that “imitation is the biggest form of flattery” given a perceived resemblance between the AMR22 and the RB18 – with the FIA having carried out an investigation into the matter before declaring that the Aston Martin complied with the rules.
Horner added that Red Bull would be ensuring that there had been no illegal transfer of intellectual property, or 'IP', to Aston Martin, who hired Red Bull’s former aero chief Dan Fallows earlier this year.
“We will have an internal investigation,” the Red Bull Team Principal told Sky Sports F1. “We've got our own software protections, we know exactly what software is looked at, where that software is controlled. But I think that it’s the job of the regulator, the FIA, because they have that access and we rely very much on them to make sure there is no transfer of IP, that there has been no abuse of that. So it’s very much their job to go and police that.”
Green, Aston Martin’s technical chief, said on Saturday when asked how big a contribution former Red Bull team members like Fallows had made to the car: “All I can say is, at no stage did we ever receive any data from any team, from anyone.
“The FIA came in and did a thorough investigation. [They] examined all the data leading up and the history of this car, they interviewed all the people involved and concluded that it was a completely independent development. And to that point where you’re talking about potential employees – this car was conceived in the middle of last year as a dual route with the launch car and the majority of the releases were made before anybody from Red Bull even turned up.
“So, I think the accusations are very wide of the mark.”
Asked if he was surprised or disappointed by any accusation of wrongdoing, he added: “Yes, disappointed. Especially with the fact that the FIA have made a statement with respect to the car and like I said before, they’ve come in and they’ve looked and they’ve declared that it’s independent work.
“They’re the ones who see all the data... not just from us but all the teams, so they really are the only ones who can make the judgement and by regulations they are obliged to make judgement on this, and they have. And I think for me, that’s the end of it.
“If you look at the development of the car that is sitting out there right now, you see that this all happened towards the end of last year, before we’d seen anybody. We were on a dual path, so it came as a shock but also a surprise that Red Bull came out with a similar concept as well.
“But I think that just reinforced our feeling at the time that, of the two paths that we had open to us, we’d gone the wrong way. And I think that was confirmation of that.”