Aston upgrade in development before Red Bull arrivals

Zak Mauger/Motorsport Images

Aston upgrade in development before Red Bull arrivals

Formula 1

Aston upgrade in development before Red Bull arrivals

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Red Bull’s accusations that intellectual property might have been transferred in the development of Aston Martin’s upgrade package are “very wide of the mark” according to the team’s chief technical officer Andrew Green.

Aston Martin unveiled a heavily updated car at the Spanish Grand Prix that closely resembles the sidepod concept of the Red Bull, and the FIA then confirmed it had carried out an investigation into the car’s development but were satisfied with Aston’s explanations.

Despite that, Christian Horner suggested IP might have changed hands at some stage, but Green says the direction was already in serious development before any former Red Bull employees joined Aston Martin.

“I don’t know what these accusations are that Red Bull are flinging about,” Green said. “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, examined all the data leading up and the history of this car, they interviewed all the people involved and concluded it was completely independent development.

“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 their accusations are very wide of the mark.

Green admits the RB18 proved it had picked the wrong initial direction with its own development.

“If you look at the development of the car that is sitting out there right now you’ll see that this all happened towards the end of last year before we’d seen anybody.

“We were on a dual path, and 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 we had open to us we’d gone the wrong way, and I think that was confirmation of that.”

An investigation was carried out and Aston Martin was cleared by the FIA, something which Green says has made the fall-out frustrating, although he has no problem with the governing body looking further at the team’s work.

“[We’re] Disappointed, especially with the fact that the FIA have made a statement with respect to the car and they’ve come in and looked and they’ve declared that it’s legitimate independent work.

“They’re the ones who see all the data – not just from us, but from all the teams – so they really are the only ones who can make the judgement and by regulation they are obliged to make judgements on this, and they have. For me that’s the end of it.

“We expect this to be the end, but if the FIA want to come back in again and do further investigations we’re more than happy for them to do so.

“We’ve been completely open and honest with them through the whole process, we’ve given them every access that they’ve requested and if they want to come back and do some more then we’re more than happy for that to happen.”

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