FORMULA ONE has become embroiled in TWO rows at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Red Bull are at loggerheads with Aston Martin over claims that the latter have copied their car design.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner and his team are at loggerheads with Aston Martin
Aston are accused of copying the car design of Red Bull
And Fernando Alonso launched a scathing attack on the FIA race stewards, accusing them of being incompetent and “not very professional”.
The two flashpoints have ignited this sold-out race in Barcelona where local hero Alonso now faces a grilling by the FIA after his blasts.
Meanwhile, Red Bull have also taken aim at the FIA after the governing body said they were satisfied that Aston Martin had NOT stolen their design.
Eyebrows were raised when Aston Martin unveiled a host of new updates for their car here in Spain – with the sidepods and floor design looking similar to Red Bull’s – prompting them to seek clarification from the FIA.
READ MORE ON SUNSPORT
But after the FIA released their statement clearing Aston of any wrongdoing, Red Bull issued their own statement.
The Milton Keynes-based team are unhappy as Aston have recruited a number of their staff over the past 12 months.
Their statement said: “Red Bull Racing have noted the FIA’s statement with interest. While imitation is the greatest form of flattery, any replication of design would obviously need to comply with the FIA’s rules around ‘Reverse Engineering’.
“However, should any transfer of IP have taken place that would clearly be a breach of regulations and would be a serious concern.”
FREE BETS AND SIGN UP DEALS – BEST NEW CUSTOMER OFFERS
It is not the first time the team have been accused of copying. In 2020 under their previous name, Racing Point, they produced a “pink Mercedes” – a design that looked like a carbon copy of Lewis Hamilton’s title-winning car from the previous season.
And in another dig, Red Bull appeared to poke fun at what has become known in the paddock as the “green Red Bull” by swapping their usual pitwall drinks for a different variety in a green can, seemingly a reference to Aston’s green car.
Red Bull boss, Christian Horner said: ” It is no coincidence that a few individuals have transferred from Red Bull to Aston Martin over the winter and during the early part of the season.
“It was brought to our attention actually by the FIA earlier this week who said: ‘There is a car that looks remarkably like your car, can we have a list of your levers?’
“Of course that immediately raises alarm bells. What is permissible, we see it up and down the paddock, where individuals move from team to team after a garden leave period, what they take in their head, that’s fair game.
“That’s their knowledge. What isn’t fair and what is totally unacceptable is if there has been any transfer of IP.
“I’m not going to disclose exactly where we are with certain individuals. It would be a criminal offence because IP is a team’s lifeblood, it’s what we invest millions of pounds into it.
“You wouldn’t want to see that turn up in a rival’s organisation. Otherwise, we may as well franchise it and be able to sell aerodynamics.
“We will have an internal investigation. We have got our own software protection, we know exactly software is locked out and where it is controlled.
“But it is the job of the regulator, the FIA, because they have the access, and we rely very heavily on them to make sure that there has been no transfer of IP and no abuse of that. So it’s very much their job to police that.”
Fernando Alonso blasted FIA race stewards
Meanwhile, Alonso will have to explain his comments to the FIA after his spectacular blast.
Alonso, 40, was demoted out of the points at the Miami GP after being given a post-race time penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage.
And while he says the decision was wrong, he also says F1 should not tolerate such a poor quality of officiating.
He said: “It was very unfair and it was just incompetence from the stewards.
“They were not very professional in Miami. I missed one corner and they took the decision without asking for any proof.
“We arrived after the race with all the proof that I had given the time back and they were just packing up. They were not even in the room.
“So it was very bad. It is something that should not happen in Formula One, with professionalism and standards Formula One has right now.”
LACK OF EXPERIENCE
Alonso’s rant comes just five months after the FIA were forced to ditch former race director Michael Masi after he failed to obey the safety car rules in the title-decider in Abu Dhabi.
But Alonso is not happy with Masi’s replacement, Niels Wittich, and says he lacks experience.
He added: “We have seen a couple of things already that proves that we still need to improve a lot.
“You need to have some knowledge about racing before being a race director or trying to monitor a race. And I don’t think that knowledge is in place at the moment.
“When you don’t have that knowledge of racing it’s difficult to talk.”