Formula 1 – Despite an early end: more trouble about Vettel-Renner

The next slap for Aston Martin and Sebastian Vettel: The Heppenheimer is 16th in qualifying for the Spanish GP, both cars from the British sports car manufacturer are eliminated in Q1 on Saturday. Vettel’s team competed in Barcelona with a completely retreaded car.

The German is disappointed after the early exit. “Today, of course, it stinks because I thought we could get at least eleven, twelve or thirteen, maybe even in the top 10 if things go very well,” said Vettel: “But we were far away from that.”

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The reason: “Everyone else made a clear step ahead today, we stopped or even took a step back because the balance wasn’t so good. We had a hard time there, I had a lot of oversteer and couldn’t drive the car that well let it fly as I wanted. I don’t know why we made such a mistake, we have to look at it,” says Vettel.

“My lap was actually clean, I didn’t have any traffic and didn’t make any major mistakes. Of course it’s a shame when it’s over so early,” says the German. Especially since Aston Martin could use every lap with the refurbished AMR22.

According to Vettel, the major conversion of his company car is still the right way. “We knew that it’s obviously a big step. It’s practically a new car, so of course there’s a lot to learn,” reveals the four-time world champion.

Vettel is disappointed after the early exit.

Vettel only has words of praise for his engineers and the effort put into it: “The team has done incredibly well in the last three months. In principle, we brought two new cars within just a few weeks,” explains the Heppenheimer and emphasizes: “The concept Of course we had that in the pipeline for a long time.”

But this is exactly the question where opinions are divided in the paddock: Because Vettel’s ex-team Red Bull had expressed doubts about Aston Martin’s new racer on the sidelines of the Spanish GP, which looks confusingly similar to their own RB18. The visual anomalies are less problematic than the fact that Aston Martin recently poached various engineers from Red Bull.

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Did they take more than just a few ideas with them to their new employer? The FIA ​​put a stop to the accusations as early as Friday: The World Automobile Federation explained that the processes had been investigated and Aston Martin had shown them the exact development steps, but that no rule violations or even data theft could be found.

Aston Martin technical director Andrew Green also asserts: “We started with this concept in mid-2021.” The Briton even turns the cause from Aston Martin’s point of view: “It was a shock and a surprise for us when Red Bull (during the test drives before the start of the season; ed.) came up with a similar concept.”

So who really came first? With regard to the FIA ​​investigation, Red Bull said: “For us, the main thing was to ensure that everything was done within the rules,” said chief engineer Pierre Wache.

Despite the FIA ​​decision, the matter is not quite over yet, because the cops want to continue digging, but first in their own ranks: “We have to clarify whether we have a leak somewhere in our intellectual property. That is our top priority and We’re investigating that at the moment.” Because according to Red Bull, data has definitely been downloaded, but it is unclear what happened to it.

At Aston Martin, however, there is a shake of the head about the approach of the competitor. “I am disappointed by the allegations as the FIA ​​have issued a statement saying it was independent work,” said Green. The timing also speaks clearly against a copying process. “The majority of the parts were commissioned long before anyone from Red Bull started here. At no time have we received any data from anyone. The allegations are completely unfounded.”

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