Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says the query conveyed by his team to the FIA over Mercedes' power unit was not sparked by a tip-off from recent recruits poached from the Brackley squad.
Red Bull has requested clarification from F1's governing body on a suspected innovative technical ploy used by Mercedes to cool the chambers of its engine's intake manifold, a potential scheme that would allow the unit to temporarily run at lower temperatures and benefit from a subsequent performance gain.
However, the Milton Keynes-based squad has made a series of high profile hirings in the past months, luring away from Mercedes' HPP power unit department in Brixworth a group of engineers to staff its own new engine shop that will take over Honda's program from 2022.
Horner was therefore asked if the team's hirings had come with some useful knowledge of Mercedes' power unit. But the Briton made clear that its query to the FIA had been suggested by Honda.
"You know it would be completely illegal to do anything like that, so of course not," he told Sky F1.
"I think within the technical group, obviously we consult with Honda, their mechanism to request the FIA [to look at something specific] is through the team.
"So we raised a couple of questions technically through the technical forums, that we are just expecting some clarifications on."
Horner revealed that Red Bull wasn't the only manufacturer seeking clarification from the FIA on the inner workings of Mercedes' engine.
"It’s not Red Bull that has instigated all of this," added Horner. "I think there are a couple of other manufacturers that have noticed some things that they are just asking for clarification on, which is totally normal."
Horner concluded that the complexity of the query implied that a clarification might take a little time.
"Because it is quite an intricate system it’s probably going to take a little bit of research to look at, but it’s with the FIA, it’s beyond my comprehension of engines to explain clearly to you."