Helmut Marko retracts Aston Martin F1 ‘copying’ comments, says it was a joke.

Helmut Marko, the Red Bull F1 advisor, has provided an explanation regarding his previous comments about Aston Martin’s AMR23 car after the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

Marko had cast doubt on the legality of the car, which has noticeable design similarities with Red Bull’s RB19 after Fernando Alonso secured third place behind Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez in Bahrain.

Dan Fallows played a key role in designing Red Bull’s powerful RB18 before joining Aston Martin, who has since adopted a sidepod concept that mirrors the strategy employed by his previous team. Marko implied that such a “copy” could not be accomplished without “having documentation of our car.”

However, when asked by Formel1.de if he had any data to back his claim, Marko clarified that he was just kidding and not making serious accusations against Aston Martin. He said, “Not at all. And that’s not meant to be an accusation either. Those are just joking remarks. If you look in the field, the Aston Martin is the car most similar to the Red Bull.”

Perez also made a jest at Aston Martin in Bahrain, teasingly saying, “it’s nice to see three Red Bull cars on the podium.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner also made light-hearted remarks, saying of Aston Martin’s improvement, “I think it demonstrates to all the teams that it’s possible. So, they’ve obviously done a good job over the winter. They say imitation is the biggest form of flattery! It’s good to see the old car going so well!”

Last year, the FIA cleared Aston Martin of copying Red Bull’s car after their upgraded AMR22 was referred to as a ‘Green Bull’.