Aston Martin's Chief Technical Officer, Andrew Green, has hit back at accusations that his team "cloned" Red Bull with their new AMR22 design.
Aston Martin have arrived in Barcelona with a very different car to the one they ran at the opening five Grands Prix. It features a much-changed sidepod and floor arrangement, drawing comparisons to that of the race-winning Red Bull.
That has seen Red Bull chiefs Christian Horner and Helmut Marko question Aston Martin's actions, with the FIA brought in to investigate the car's design.
Marko went on to claim there is "evidence that data was downloaded", while Red Bull are launching an internal investigation to rule out a possible "criminal offence".
Aston Martin bemused by Red Bull accusations
The FIA's early investigations have resulted in Aston Martin being cleared of any wrongdoing.
"I don't know what these accusations are that Red Bull are thinking about," said Green, speaking to select members of the media, including RacingNews365.com.
"All I can say is that at no stage did we receive any data from any team, from anyone.
"The FIA came in and did a thorough investigation and examined all the data leading up in the history of this car. They interviewed all the people involved and concluded that it was a completely independent development."
Green claims Aston Martin's new design was dreamt up long ago
Much of the discussion over Aston Martin's alleged copying has centred around aerodynamicist Dan Fallows and his recent move to the team from Red Bull.
However, Green has claimed that the design currently seen on the AMR22 was conceived long before Fallows' arrival, as part of a two-pronged approach to the 2022 season.
"This car was conceived in the middle of last year, as a dual-route with the launch car," he continued.
"The majority of the releases were made before anybody from Red Bull even turned up, so I think the accusations are very wide of the mark.
"I am disappointed, especially with the fact that the FIA has made a statement with respect to the car and, as I said before, they've come in and they've looked and declared that it's legitimate, independent work."
'Team Silverstone' earning a reputation for copying rival teams
In recent seasons, the Silverstone-based team have been criticised by some as being unable to design a car concept of their own, but Green says those claims are "completely false".
It comes after the outfit, when racing under the name Racing Point, were fined and docked points for illegally copying parts of Mercedes' 2019 car.
Green has protested that Aston Martin were shocked by the similarities of the Red Bull to their own design when the RB18 took to the track during pre-season testing.
"It came as a shock but also a surprise that the Red Bull came out with a similar concept as well," he said.
"I think that just reinforced our feeling at the time that, of the two paths we had open to us, we'd gone the wrong way – that was confirmation of that."
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Green expects FIA outcome to be the end of copying debate
Aston Martin expect the outcome of the FIA's investigation to be the end of the copying debate, but welcomed the governing body back for further checks.
"We expect this to be the end, but if the FIA wanted to come back in again and do further investigations, we're more than happy for them to do so," he added.
"We've been completely open and honest with them through the whole process. We've given them every access that they've requested.
"If they want to come back and do some more [checks], I'm more than happy for that to happen."
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