Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin has admitted that the Formula 1 paddock will be “all over” the photos of Sergio Perez’s RB19, which was risen to safety during Q1 on Saturday at the Monaco Grand Prix.
Perez crashed in the opening stages of Q1 on Saturday at the Circuit de Monaco, with his incident at the opening corner having resulted in the session being red flagged.
In order to remove stricken cars quickly, they are often lifted to safety using a crane at the iconic venue, with Perez’s RB19 having received the same treatment.
Given how superior Red Bull have been this season, the Austrians would’ve likely been infuriated to see one of their cars lifted into the air, with photos of the car’s floor having quickly circulated all over social media.
Interestingly though, Williams’ head of vehicle performance Dave Robson revealed that it’s difficult to “figure” Red Bull’s secrets out based on the images, due to their floor being “so curved”.
“It’s so complex that on a 2D photo, because of the way the light is, it’s so curved, you can’t figure any of it out,” Robson said, as reported by RaceFans.net.
“I guess it’s just coincidental they do it all like that because that’s how they get the downforce. But it doesn’t half make it difficult to copy!”
Shovlin on the other hand, believes people will be looking intently at the images, more so than at their W14 which was also risen to safety on Saturday.
Lewis Hamilton’s W14 was hoisted into the air at the end of Free Practice 3 on Saturday after he crashed at Mirabeau, meaning the Silver Arrows’ floor was on show for the world.
“I suspect they’re probably more annoyed about their car being left in the sky than we would be about ours,” said Shovlin.
“To be honest with these regulations the most important bit is the bit that you don’t normally get to see. So the teams will be all over those kind of photographs. Monaco is a good opportunity to get that kind of shot.”
Whilst Shovlin believes the images will be examined by all the teams, he explained how similar photos received “more attention” in the past.
“Years ago, when your weight distribution could be anywhere between 48% and 43 you paid a bit more attention to where people are,” added Shovlin.
“If they lifted a car, you could sort of try and work out where the centre of gravity was. These days you’ve got a pretty narrow window to work in by the regulations anyway.”