Aston Martin have been cleared of any wrongdoing after an FIA investigation into their upgrade package for the Spanish Grand Prix. Aston Martin have added various new parts to the AMR22 for this weekend's event in Barcelona, including a new floor body, fences and edges, and changes to the engine cover, cooling louvres, rear wing, sidepod inlets and Halo. The modifications, particularly in terms of the sidepods and engine cover, immediately drew comparisons to the front-running Red Bull RB18. The FIA carried out a routine pre-event legality check of the planned aerodynamic upgrade, during which "it became apparent that a number of features on the Aston Martin resembled those of another competitor". An investigation was subsequently launched to check compliance with Article 17.3 of the Technical Regulations "and in particular the topic of 'Reverse Engineering' and potential illicit IP transfer".
FIA statement confirms Aston Martin are in the clear
After this investigation, the FIA confirmed that Aston Martin's actions have all been according to the rules. "Both teams collaborated fully with the FIA in this investigation and provided all the relevant information," read the FIA statement. "The investigation, which involved CAD checks and a detailed analysis of the development process adopted by Aston Martin, confirmed that no wrongdoing had been committed, and therefore the FIA considers that the Aston Martin aerodynamic upgrades are compliant. "Article 17.3 specifically defines and prohibits 'Reverse Engineering', i.e. the digital process of converting photographs (or other data) to CAD models, and prohibits IP transfer between teams, but equally, this Article permits car designs getting influenced by those of competitors, as has always been the case in Formula 1. "In the analysis, we carried out we confirmed that the processes followed by Aston Martin were consistent with this Article's requirements."