The Silverstone-based squad has started the 2022 season in poor form, and is ninth in the constructors’ standings after the opening five rounds of the campaign, ahead only of Williams.
Back in 2020, when the team was still known as Racing Point, they caused enormous controversy by copying the design of the 2019 Mercedes car which had won the world championship. The car became known as the Pink Mercedes and saw the team leapfrog multiple teams and allowed it to compete for podiums and even race victories.
The ethics of what was in effect a copy-and-paste job of another team’s design caused uproar in the F1 paddock, but ultimately the team was allowed to continue running the car.
Now, having poached head of aerodynamics Dan Fallows from Red Bull, the team has brought a car to this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix which looks identical to the Red Bull other than its green livery.
The AMR22 has been completely revamped from the version which raced in Miami, with an entirely different design on the sidepods, halo, floor, and front and rear wings, which all look identical to the concept Red Bull has been running since the start of the season.
Driver Stroll, though, insists the car is a result of the team’s own work. The 23-year-old, the son of billionaire team owner Lawrence Stroll, also claimed the team built two cars over the course of the winter break.
“I’ve heard some people say that [it is a copy of the Red Bull],” the Canadian explained. “We really did our job back at the factory, we designed it over the winter and we brought it to the track this weekend. It’s down the hard work of our guys to bring it here, it’s been flat out for the past few months to get it here. Hopefully a big improvement.”
Stroll has also claimed that Aston Martin designed two entirelt separate cars over the course of the winter break, with F1 undergoing its biggest regulation change in a generation as ground effect aerodynamics returned for the first time since the 1980s. Given that all F1 teams are bound by an annual budget cap of $145m, and the sheer amount of time and effort which would be required to design two cars, Stroll’s claim is a big one.
“We designed two cars over the winter. The first one wasn’t as competitive as we wanted it to be, so now we’re trying this one.”
The sixth round of the 2022 F1 season is taking place this weekend at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.
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