Rival Formula 1 teams are “dismayed” as much as they are excited about the details of dominant Red Bull’s newly-revealed car floor.
At Monaco, the underbody of Mercedes’ 2023 car was also revealed to scores of photographers when a crane lifted it up.
“Red Bull will certainly have been more annoyed than us because they have more to reveal than we do,” said Mercedes’ Toto Wolff.
“If you want to copy our floor, I say ‘go for it!'”
Indeed, the behind-the-scenes buzz is that Red Bull’s rivals are fascinated with the complexity and intricacy of the floor but also the blackened colouring of the plank – indicating the extent to which the car touches the ground.
“There must be one or more clever aerodynamic and mechanical tricks going on,” Auto Motor und Sport correspondent Andreas Haupt said.
Dr Helmut Marko is confident Red Bull’s rivals do not understand those secrets.
“The floor is very important,” he said, “but if you don’t have an understanding of the other parts, copying is extremely difficult.”
Williams’ performance boss Dave Robson agrees.
“I took a quick look at the floor of the Red Bull,” he admits.
“It’s so complex and curved that you can hardly draw any conclusions with two-dimensional photos, because it also depends on how the light falls.”
F1 correspondent Haupt, however, thinks Red Bull’s rivals will actually be more concerned than confused.
“We hear that the competitors are somewhat dismayed at how much further along and how much more complicated the underbody of the Red Bull is,” he said.