Mercedes’ head of trackside engineering Andrew Shovlin has revealed that copying Red Bull’s floor based off photos isn’t “as simple” as many might believe, with the engineer noting that the images can simply be used as a “little bit of inspiration”.
Sergio Perez gave the entire paddock a fantastic opportunity to get a glimpse of the RB19’s floor after he crashed at the Monaco Grand Prix, with Mercedes having gathered a collection of photos.
The Mexican crashed for the second time this season in Q1, with his car having been lifted to safety as a result.
It obviously wasn’t just Perez whose car was lifted to safety at the Circuit de Monaco, with Lewis Hamilton having crashed at Mirabeau in the closing stages of Free Practice 3.
Hamilton’s car was actually lifted higher and for longer than Perez’s, meaning Mercedes’ rivals were able to see in detail the underneath of the team’s new concept.
With Red Bull having won every race this season, it’s easy to see why the majority of the paddock would take photos; however, Shovlin has admitted that copying a rival purely based off imagery isn’t a realistic feat.
“All teams will be looking at the photos and I suspect that they’re looking a bit more at the Red Bull ones than the Mercedes or the Ferrari ones!” Shovlin told Sky Sports F1.
“Certainly you can get ideas about what they’re trying to do with flow structures, where they might be going with the development direction. If you look at last year, you look at this year, you can understand a bit about what they’re doing there.
“But the reality is, while those pictures can give you a bit of inspiration or an idea, it’s not as simple as let’s copy that, put it on our car and we’ll be as quick as they are. It’s definitely not a case of that.
“And the reality is you’ve got to focus the vast amount of your effort on understanding your own car and developing from there. So I think a little bit of inspiration, but not much more than that.”