Aston Martin fined by the FIA amid copying controversy

Aston Martin fined by the FIA amid copying controversy

Aston Martin has been fined 5,000 euros after an unsafe Lance Stroll release during qualifying for the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix.

Lance Stroll was sent out of his garage and into the path of Lando Norris as the two came dangerously near to colliding in the pit lane during the first qualifying session, prompting an FIA inquiry.

Given the updated AMR22’s remarkable resemblance to the Red Bull RB18, Aston Martin has been at the centre of F1’s newest copying controversy.

Despite the fact that the team has been cleared by the FIA, Red Bull has raised concerns over possible IP transference after seven former members of staff joined Aston Martin over the winter.

The British team’s sidepods and venturi tunnels were revealed to be nearly identical to those of Red Bull, prompting claims that they may have plagiarised the Austrian team’s design.

Stroll finished 18th in Q1, while teammate Sebastian Vettel did not fare much better, finishing 16th after out-qualifying the Canadian for the third time this season. The news got much worse for the Silverstone crew, who were penalised for an unsafe release after the stewards’ examination.

“The stewards heard from the driver of car 18 [Lance Stroll], the driver of car 4 [Lando Norris] and team representatives, and examined video,” read the report.

“The team manager of car 18 admitted that, in error, the team released car 18 into the path of car 4 creating an unsafe release.”

In 2020, they were fined 400,000 euros and deducted 15 points for closely mimicking Mercedes’ championship-winning W10, and Red Bull adviser Dr Helmut Marko confessed that “data was obtained” while under the Racing Point guise.

Stroll stated after his team’s disappointing qualifying result that if Aston Martin had truly followed the design of one of the fastest teams on the grid, he and Vettel would have easily made it out of Q1.

“What position is Red Bull? We’d be two seconds faster if it was a copy,” he said to the Race. “I’ve been really struggling with the balance of the car and not getting to grips with it all weekend.”

“It’s a completely different aero package, ride heights, set-ups, a lot of things change, we have to see if we missed something or we could have done something differently.”

Despite the theoretical advantages they should have had as a result of the changes, the 23-year-old would like to get to the bottom of the lack of speed.

“I hope we missed something. Last race we were in Q3 and now we’re out of Q1 so miles off the pace. We have to figure out why,” added Stroll.

The FIA examined the documentation that guided the design of the new AMR22 iteration and found no evidence of misconduct.

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