Marko appeared to raise doubts over the legality of Aston Martin’s AMR23 car, which has clear design similarities to the RB19, after Fernando Alonso claimed a superb third place behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez in Bahrain. 

Dan Fallows played a role in designing Red Bull’s dominant RB18 before joining Aston Martin, who have since converged to a sidepod concept that replicates the philosophy taken by his former team. 

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And Marko seemed to suggest that such a “copy” could not be possible without “having documentation of our car”. 

But when asked by if he had any data to back his claim, Marko insisted he was joking and not making serious accusations against Aston Martin. 

“Not at all,” Marko said. “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.”

Marko was not the only member of the Red Bull team to poke fun at Aston Martin in Bahrain, with Perez teasing “it’s nice to see three Red Bull cars on the podium”. 

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner also couldn’t resist wading in with some light-hearted digs. 

He said 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, Aston Martin were cleared of copying Red Bull’s car by F1’s governing body the FIA after their upgraded AMR22 was dubbed a ‘Green Bull’.