It’s the upgrade season now that Formula 1 has its feet firmly planted on European soil in rain and that means the cost caps have been tested and the flight cases full of new and “improved” parts have arrived in Barcelona.
The interesting thing is, the Aston Martin upgrades have been accused of making the car look like a green Red Bull and to be fair, there are some similarities. So much so that some folks have reminded the world that this was the same team that had the pink Mercedes a couple years ago such was the similarity.
Red Bull certainly had concerns over the idea that the team may have reverse engineered their solution:
“Oracle Red Bull Racing have noted the FIA’s statement with interest,” the team’s statement said.
“While imitation is the greatest form of flattery, any replication of design would obviously need to comply with the FIA’s rules around ‘Reverse Engineering.’
“However, should any transfer of IP have taken place that would clearly be a breach of regulations and would be a serious concern.”
FIA has weighed in on the matter and addressed the reverse engineering issue saying:
“The FIA carried out a routine pre-event legality check of the planned aerodynamic upgrade of the Aston Martin team for the 2022 FIA Formula One Spanish Grand Prix,” the statement said.
“During this process, 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. In the analysis we carried out we confirmed that the processes followed by Aston Martin were consistent with this Article’s requirements.”
That was a similar conclusion with the Pink Mercedes. The question is, does the matter end there or are Red Bull convinced it isn’t a copy? As of now, both cars are running the new upgrades this weekend in Spain.