Helmut Marko fires fresh cheating accusation at Aston Martin, but will the FIA investigate?

Aston Martin had a driver on the podium for only the second time in their Formula 1 tenure at the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix.

When Aston Martin joined F1 in 2021 as a rebrand of Racing Point, it was expected that the team would use the financial backing of Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll to quickly battle for podiums.

This appeared to not be the case however, as the team remained in the shadows with back-to-back seventh place finishes in the constructors’ championship to their name so far.

During these two seasons, Aston Martin have been assembling a team of talented individuals with former Red Bull head of aerodynamics Dan Fallows being one of the high-profile signings that the team have made.

Fallows, who is now Aston Martin’s technical director, played an important role in the design of the RB18, which was clearly the quickest car on track last year.

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Aston Martin have now rocked up to Bahrain for the opening race of the 2023 season with an AMR23 which looks a lot like the Red Bull.

While it is understandable that the Aston Martin will look somewhat like a Red Bull due to Fallow’s ideas being present on both cars, Red Bull’s chief advisor Helmut Marko has questioned the legality of the AMR23’s design.

“It’s true that what Fallows had in his head cannot be erased,” he told Servus TV.

“Copying the focus is not prohibited, but can you copy in such detail without having documentation of our car?

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“We had three Red Bulls on the podium, only the last one with a different engine.”

Red Bull driver Sergio Perez made a similar comment after the Bahrain Grand Prix, joking that it was nice to see three Red Bull cars on the podium, prompting laughter from Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner also believes that the AMR23 is very similar to a Red Bull, making a thinly veiled dig after the race.

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“Based on one race, you’d have to say they were the second strongest here,” he said.

“They’ve obviously done a good job over the winter. They say imitation is the biggest form of flattery and, you know, it’s good to see the old car doing so well.”

With Aston Martin looking like the second fastest team so far, the battel for the runner up spot in the championship could be the most exciting part of 2023 as Red Bull drive away into the distance.