The FIA have found that the updated Aston Martin car has not breached any regulations after suspicions that it might have been a direct copy of Red Bull’s 2022 car.
The Silverstone-based team headed to the Spanish Grand Prix with striking sidepods that looked uncannily similar to the ones that have guided Max Verstappen to three wins in 2022 amid Aston Martin’s struggles.
They have only managed three points finishes between Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll in the opening five rounds, leaving them ninth in the Constructors’ Standings with six points.
The arrival of the new sidepods aroused scepticism as to whether they had intimately copied Red Bull’s design, especially after the arrival of Dan Fallows over the winter as their technical director having spent 16 years with Red Bull in their aerodynamic department.
However, Lawrence Stroll’s team told the governing body that they had started working on their new design in the wind tunnel in November last year, and this information has been corroborated, so no action will be taken.
Vettel revealed that a lot of hours had gone into the current design, and he hopes that the team can unlock more pace as a result.
“We know that it’s very different looking car, we’ve had a big push in the factory to make the bits for two cars,” he said, quoted by Motorsport.com.
“It will be very interesting to see how it behaves on-track. That’s what we’re looking forward to, [we’re] very curious to see the performance.
“We don’t expect a massive jump straightaway, but we do believe in the concept and we believe there is more performance to gain down that route.
“It will be very interesting to get a feel and get my hands on it.”
However, the German conceded that the changes will not immediately have the desired effect.
“We don’t expect the updates we bring to make a big impact right away. We expect more performance from the car with the updates,” added Vettel.
So far in Spain, Aston Martin have not all that quick. The best they managed on Friday was P8 through the four-time world champion in FP2, while both drivers were outside the top 10 in FP1 as they put 106 laps on the board altogether.
Qualifying, however, will give us a definitive answer as to whether Aston Martin have improved with their new car.