Mercedes technical director James Allison believes Sergio Perez‘s Monaco Grand Prix crash could provide valuable insights into Red Bull‘s aerodynamic secrets. Photographs of Perez‘s car underside were easily captured by photographers, and Allison admitted that analysing these images could help Mercedes with their ongoing test programme. The underside of an F1 car is the most aerodynamically sensitive area, with ground-effect sculpting impacting most of the performance. Mercedes also had Lewis Hamilton‘s upgraded vehicle suspended from a crane, while Red Bull boss Christian Horner acknowledged that all the teams employ spy photographers to gain intelligence. Fred Vasseur, Ferrari‘s boss, agreed that it is challenging to hide anything as all the teams have thousands of pictures of their rivals’ cars.
The rarely seen floor of Sergio Perez‘s Red Bull car was easily photographed after the Mexican crashed during qualifying at the Monaco Grand Prix. The photos of the underside of the F1 car will provide critical information for Mercedes‘s aerodynamicists. According to Allison, the photographs could aid the Mercedes team with Red Bull‘s hidden secrets and enable them to pick out details useful for their ongoing test programme.
Allison acknowledged that photographers positioned at strategic parts of the Monaco street circuit were taking photos furiously, and Mercedes subsequently received a clutch of high-resolution Red Bull imagery. The technical director stated that the underside of an F1 car is vital for performance, and the ground-effect sculpting of the car impacts its aerodynamics the most.
Lewis Hamilton‘s newly-upgraded car was also suspended in the air in Monaco, making it easy for rival teams to scrutinize. Allison acknowledged the competition will analyze pictures of their cars, but Mercedes will also pore over Red Bull‘s imagery to add to their data and see what is useful.
Red Bull‘s superb form this season puts Mercedes‘ title defence on the back foot, and the team is struggling to catch up with their performance. Red Bull has won every race so far this year, and Mercedes is hoping that perusing the photos of Perez‘s crash can provide an edge over their rivals.
Christian Horner, Red Bull boss, played down the situation and said it was a bit of a show-and-tell from all the teams, adding that pictures of floors get taken in and around the paddock. Horner said each team would be employing spy photographers to capture photos of their rivals’ cars when they are in parts and pieces, and it is common practice. Horner added all the teams are seeking intelligence and insights.
Ferrari boss Fred Vasseur agreed that it is challenging to hide anything in F1. Responding to reporters’ questions, Vasseur said he wouldn’t speak about Ferrari, but he agreed that all the teams have thousands of pictures of their rivals’ cars to analyze.