The talk of the paddock on Friday was the significant design changes to the Aston Martin car which now looks like the Red Bull. Christian Horner’s pit lane operatives all jokingly were sporting green red bull drinks cans near their work stations as if to accentuate the point.
However, Lance Stroll speaking to Sky’s Ted Kravitz claimed the team had been developing two cars over the winter and it was time to switch to this design. He was adamant any resemblance his car has to the Red Bull is merely a coincidence.
Contrarily Aston team boss Mike Krack told Martin Brundle the car is an “evolution” and the FIA have cleared them from illegal copycat design.
The FIA released the following statement. “During this [legality check], it became apparent that a number of features on the Aston Martin resembled those of another competitor.”
“The FIA therefore launched an investigation to check compliance with Article 17.3 of the Technical Regulations, and in particular the topic of ‘Reverse Engineering’ and potential illicit IP transfer.
“Both teams collaborated fully with the FIA in this investigation and provided all the relevant information.
“The investigation, which involved CAD checks and a detailed analysis of the development process adopted by Aston Martin, confirmed that no wrongdoing had been committed, and therefore the FIA considers that the Aston Martin aerodynamic upgrades are compliant.”
Article 17.3 “specifically defines and prohibits ‘Reverse Engineering’, i.e. the digital process of converting photographs (or other data) to CAD models, and prohibits IP transfer between teams, but equally, this Article permits car designs getting influenced by those of competitors, as has always been the case in Formula 1.”
The FIA concluded, “In the analysis we carried out we confirmed that the processes followed by Aston Martin were consistent with this Article’s requirements.”