Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe
Formula 1 Canadian GP

Red Bull F1 car floor exposes “different paradigm” - Williams

Red Bull’s infamous floor images were more fascinating for understanding the “different paradigm” the Formula 1 team operates in, rather than what the design looked like, according to rival Williams.

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

Photographs of the underside of Sergio Perez’s RB19 were widely distributed over the Monaco Grand Prix weekend after the Mexican driver crashed in qualifying.

The shots revealed the level of complexity that Red Bull has put into its floor concept, and were of huge value to rival teams to help them try to catch up with the current world champion squad.

But for Williams, it was the wider aspect of trying to comprehend how Red Bull came up with such a brilliant design that is far more intriguing.

Asked how valuable the photographs were, Williams head of vehicle performance Dave Robson said: “It’s fascinating, definitely. How valuable it is, is a little bit harder to say.

“I know it was a great view that everyone got in Monaco, but I think we’d seen plenty of photos of it prior – even last year – to at least understand that it’s very complicated and you can’t see the details.

“There is very little on an F1 car that aerodynamically, you can just copy. You have to understand what it is doing and make it work for your car, or understand all the other parts that go with it.

“And that floor is just a great example of that. It’s a whole new level on it. So, you’ve somehow got to pick it apart. It’s genuinely difficult to understand how all those curves work in a three-dimensional space – it’s that complicated.

“But I think what is more telling is that there are a few bits you can see what they’re doing geometrically, so you can mock something up, test it and try to understand what it is that they’re trying to achieve and then use it on your car. That’s clear, and everyone will be doing that.

Marshals load the car of Logan Sargeant, Williams FW45, onto a truck after a crash in FP3

Marshals load the car of Logan Sargeant, Williams FW45, onto a truck after a crash in FP3

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

“But the bigger question is, how did they arrive at that in the first place? What is their process that gets them to that level of complexity.

“Because that’s like a whole new, completely different paradigm. That’s probably the more interesting question to answer, rather than what’s it actually doing right now? How did they get there and what does it mean the next one [design] is going to be like?”

Robson said that the level of detail that Red Bull had put in the floor design would likely act as a wake-up call for rivals in terms of them realising just how much they have to catch up.

“I’m not an aerodynamicist but it looks pretty daunting to me,” he said. “At the same time, as an engineering problem, it’s quite exciting to try and understand what it’s doing and how they got there. It’s not easy.”

Read Also:

The complex Red Bull floor contrasted with the relatively simple floor concept that Williams has – which was revealed after Logan Sargeant crashed in practice for the Spanish GP.

And while Robson said there was not necessarily a direct link between complexity and better performance, he did concede that it has exposed just how much Williams needs to progress.

“You can’t deny that they are many steps ahead of where we are and, indeed, where most people are,” he said. “There is definitely some correlation there. Not direct, but there is some.”

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Vowles: F1 cost cap changes on infrastructure investment coming in July
Next article Key signing a surprise boost for Alfa Romeo in F1 - Zhou

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe