Adrian Newey admits it is flattering but also "a pain" that the latest trend in F1 is to copy the exhaust layout on Red Bull's new RB7 car.
Sebastian Vettel easily won the 2011 opener from pole in Melbourne last weekend, but in second place was McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, after the British team ditched its own complex 'octopus' exhaust system.
The RB7's designer Newey told UK newspaper Express that "some teams have copied" his exhaust; surely also a reference to Ferrari, Sauber and Williams.
But the most notable imitator has been McLaren, who according to Newey have "made a huge leap forward" after a dire winter.
It's a form of flattery but it's a bit of a pain if they then beat you with it
"We think it (the exhaust) works for us," he told Reuters as he received an award in London. "It seems it also works for McLaren.
"It's a form of flattery but it's a bit of a pain if they then beat you with it," added the Briton.
To ensure Red Bull's superiority is not challenged soon, Newey said the team is working hard to race its KERS system next weekend in Malaysia.
"We will have it from now on," he told Express, referring to the team's decision to take it off the cars in Melbourne due to a reliability problem.
"It was actually a relatively trivial problem but KERS is a complicated system, we have been trying to develop the element of it that has been giving us a bit of trouble ourselves and we're not experts in that field," explained Newey.