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Formula 1 Monaco GP

F1 rivals will struggle to copy RB19 floor, says Red Bull

Red Bull bosses believe it won't be easy for rivals to copy the floor of its Formula 1 car, despite it being revealed to prying eyes at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Marshals remove the car of Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19, from the circuit after a crash in Q1

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The way that stranded cars are retrieved by marshals in Monaco, by being lifted high on cranes rather than on the back of low loaders, meant several stricken machines had their undersides revealed in all their glory after incidents.

Just hours after the Mercedes W14 floor was shown off following Lewis Hamilton’s crash in final practice, Red Bull had to endure its own car’s secrets being put on display as Sergio Perez’s crashed RB19 was lifted off the track in qualifying.

With Red Bull being the pacesetters in F1 right now, the design of the underfloor will have been of big interest to rivals as they try to work out just why the Milton Keynes-based team is so far ahead.

But although the insight will be a help to the opposition, Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko thinks that others will still struggle to reproduce what his team has done.

Speaking exclusively to Autosport about the situation of the Red Bull floor being revealed, Marko said: “Of course we don’t like it.

“The floor is very important, but if you don’t have the other parts and all the underlying concepts, then it’s not so easy. And the Mercedes car was even longer up in the air.

“But I think nobody was as interested in the Mercedes floor as people were in our car.”

Dr Helmut Marko, Red Bull Racing Team Consultant

Dr Helmut Marko, Red Bull Racing Team Consultant

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Marko believes that unless rivals have the knowledge of how the Red Bull’s front wing and diffuser work in terms of managing the airflow, then the knowledge of the floor will not be of much value.

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“It’s not only the floor,” added Marko. “It has to work together with the front wing and the rear end. So it’s about all those things combined, and that is much more complex than just the floor.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner also reckoned that, while the images of the floor may have been new to the public, rival squads probably already had spy photographs of it.

“It’s very rude to look up people’s skirts really,” he joked about the images of the Red Bull underside.

“Pictures of floors get taken in and around the paddock. They arrive in vans, they work with the cars and the shutters are up and so on, and each team will be employing spy photographers to get pictures of the cars when they’re in parts and pieces. That’s common practice.

“So I wouldn’t have thought it was the first time a picture of the floor has been taken. It was probably the first time it has been suspended from a crane, but all teams are always striving for that intelligence.”

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