Aston Martin are adamant everything is above board with the changes to the AMR22 that have led to it being described as a ‘green Red Bull’.
After a disappointing start to the season, Aston Martin have arrived for the Spanish Grand Prix with what has been described as a B-spec car containing substantial upgrades.
Only ninth in the Constructors’ Championship after five races with a paltry total of six points, the Silverstone-based team listed eight changes to the AMR22 at the Friday morning ‘show and tell’ session.
These relate to the floor, sidepod inlet, engine cover, cooling louvres, rear wing and the Halo.
But the updated version, which Aston Martin confirmed to PlanetF1 would be available to both Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll for the Barcelona weekend, has caught the eye with its apparent similarity to the Red Bull RB18.
— Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team (@AstonMartinF1) May 20, 2022
Auto Motor und Sport have reported the FIA were alarmed by that, and “carried out an investigation and gave Aston Martin the green light”.
The team have confirmed in a statement to PlanetF1 that they are indeed in the clear.
An Aston Martin spokesperson said: “We have shared details of our update with the FIA technical people. Having analysed the data and the processes used to create the update, the FIA has now confirmed in writing that our update was generated as a result of legitimate independent work in accordance with the Technical Regulations.”
In their previous guise as Racing Point, the Lawrence Stroll-owned team were punished in 2020 when the brake ducts of their car were found to be too similar to those on the previous season’s Mercedes – with the points penalty they received costing them third position in the Constructors’ World Championship.
Aston Martin have lured a number of Red Bull employees in recent times including Dan Fallows, the aerodynamics chief who recently became their technical director.
However, any Fallows influence in the revised Aston Martin has been dismissed because he only began his new role in April and it is being reported the B-spec car was being developed in the wind tunnel last November.
That was confirmed by Lance Stroll in an interview on Sky F1 before FP1 for the Spanish Grand Prix.
“We did our job back at the factory, we designed it over the winter and brought it to the track this weekend. It’s down to the hard work of our guys,” said the Canadian.
“We designed two cars over the winter. We tried the first one and now we are trying this one. The first one wasn’t as competitive as we wanted it to be.
“We have Dan that came from Red Bull, but he joined us last month and there is no chance this could have been done in a month. It was over the last many months that this was planned and developed and designed and hopefully it brings lap time.”
Torquing Point: Aston Martin bringing 'half a new car' to Spain
Aston Martin are arguably making bigger changes than any other team when their B-spec AMR22 heads to Barcelona.