Red Bull focused on checking for IP leaks in F1 copy row – Motorsport.com

Aston Martin’s updated AMR22 car broke cover on Friday in Barcelona with a raft of new parts that drew significant similarities to Red Bull’s RB18 model, causing it to be dubbed a ‘green Red Bull’.
The FIA confirmed it had investigated Aston Martin’s design methods, but found its processes complied with the regulations. Red Bull responded by saying it had noted the FIA’s response “with interest”, but that a transfer of IP between teams would be of “serious concern”.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner felt there was “no coincidence” that Aston Martin had ended up with such a similar design given a number of Red Bull employees had moved across in recent months.
The team’s technical director, Pierre Wache, admitted he was “surprised” to see such similarities in the Aston Martin, but said that after the FIA’s checks, the focus now was on ensuring there had been no IP leak from Red Bull.
“For us, the main aspect was to be sure that it was done within the rules,” Wache said.
“The FIA checked, and it looks like [it was]. We on our side now are to check that we don’t have any IP leak. That is the main asset of the team. We want to make sure of that, that is what we are investigating at the moment.
“As a personal engineering aspect, it was satisfying that a team copied us. It means our concept is not so bad.”
Pierre Wache, Technical Director, Red Bull Racing, and Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing
Photo by: Motorsport Images
Aston Martin technical chief Andrew Green felt “disappointed” by Red Bull’s accusations, calling them “wide of the mark”, but Wache did not feel his team had been overly vocal or made a “massive voice” about it.
“We just want to be sure that we protect ourselves, and on the budget cap, the main aspect of the budget is IP, and we want to make sure that how we spend our money is secure and our assets are secure,” he said.
Wache added that the push to investigate if there had been any transfer of IP was so “it could not happen to another team, to be honest, not only to Aston Martin” and that it was a “diligence” for Red Bull to look into it.
“In terms of action with the FIA, I think the response from the FIA is clear,” Wache said.
“It looks like the car itself and the way to achieve it was legal, and we won’t do any more action on this aspect until we find something on our side.”
A number of Red Bull design staff have made the switch to Aston Martin in recent months, including former head of aerodynamics Dan Fallows, who started as Aston Martin’s technical director at the start of April.
Wache accepted that it was impossible to “control the head of people” and the ideas or methodologies they carried between teams, but that a transfer of IP would be far more severe.
“It’s like a football team, the football players are the engineers in this business,” Wache said.
“I think it’s not what we are after, it’s more if we have some electronic file leak in the system that we cannot control what the people do, and whether people transfer what they know.
“You cannot unlearn something. That is not something we are after.”
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