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Formula 1 Spanish GP

Red Bull says "ignorant copy" of floor design is no help to F1 rivals

Red Bull says ‘ignorant copies’ of its floor design will not help Formula 1 rivals go any quicker.

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

The Milton Keynes-based squad was left annoyed over the Monaco Grand Prix weekend when images of its floor and diffuser design were revealed in public as Sergio Perez's crashed car was craned away in qualifying. 

Several of Red Bull's competitors have said they have gained important knowledge from the RB19 being on display, with Mercedes admitting it had a "nice clutch" of images that its aerodynamicists were looking at. 

Red Bull thinks it will take until around the time of the Japanese Grand Prix for other teams to change designs if they found something interesting with the floor, but it also reckons that simply copying what they have seen will not deliver any progress. 

Chief engineer Paul Monaghan said about the floor images being revealed: "It's not great. We don't put our car up [like that], but it has happened and we'll move on.  

"But there's a phase lag between people seeing it, getting it onto their car and actually going faster with it. A better description is that an ignorant copy isn't necessarily going to go faster. It has to integrate. And it's not just a bit of floor geometry." 

Monaghan said that with it taking many months for design ideas to finding their way onto the car, it could take until October for any copycat concepts to emerge on real cars. 

"Our development path is reasonably well laid out in terms of the timings we wish to try to deploy things if they're going to make us go faster," he said. 

Mercedes' floor was also exposed in Monaco.

Mercedes' floor was also exposed in Monaco.

Photo by: Uncredited

"If we change someone else's development plan, then we probably increase the phase lag by which they can get it to the car. So around Japan time we'll see where everybody is.  

"But we've got to maintain our discipline and our development path. And it's only our car that we can change. We can't influence what those guys do. So, we'll keep plugging away in our own manner and we'll try to be quickest." 

As well as the intrigue over its floor design, Red Bull has also seen challengers Mercedes and Ferrari recently switch to its downwash sidepod concept. 

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Monaghan said that convergence of design was something that had happened for years in F1, so it was nothing to get too excited about. 

"We go back to 2009, 2010, 2011, even '14, we were winning races with an overall similar package to that which Mercedes had," he added. "So, we're not immune to doing it. 

"Other people will look at our car and try to, if they think they're going to go faster, take influence from it. It's fine. 

"Ask McLaren about 2011 and what their car looked like when it was not quick. Then it appeared with some exhaust which looked just like ours, and it was quite quick. 

"So, it's happened for many years, and it will carry on. It's a method of levelling the sport. There are no copyrights, are there?"

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