McLaren praises Red Bull for 'complexity and quality' of RB19 floor

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McLaren team principal Andrea Stella commended Red Bull's engineers for the "complexity and quality" of their RB19's floor after studying photographs of the underbody's design.

Images of the RB19's floor were scrutinized in detail by Red Bull's rivals after Sergio Perez's crash in qualifying at Monaco when the car was lifted and craned off the track at Ste Devote.

In the process, the most defining and secluded element of the dominant car's overall concept was revealed for all to see.

Speaking this week on Mercedes' post-race debrief video on YouTube, technical director James Allison said the Brackley squad - whose car was also craned away in Monaco - would not miss an opportunity to investigate Red Bull's unique underbody.

Andrea Stella (ITA) McLaren Team Principal in the FIA Press Conference. 03.03.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir, Bahrain, Practice Day -, EMail: © Copyright: XPB Images

"We got a nice clutch of Red Bull imagery and that's always a good thing for our aerodynamicists to pore over and see if we can pick out details that will be of interest to us in our ongoing test programme," commented Allison.

Like Mercedes, McLaren's engineers were also hard at work investigating Red Bull's uncovered design. And Stella was impressed with what he saw.

"Myself personally, I spent some time, but the 100 aerodynamicists at McLaren will be spending a little bit more time," Stella said in Barcelona on Friday.

"It’s very interesting indeed and also shows the complexity and the quality of their development.

"To be honest, when I saw it, I said hats off to Red Bull, I can understand why they have this kind of performance."

Ferrari is also closely studying the images, but team boss Fred Vasseur warned that the Red Bull's secret floor was only one component – albeit an important one – of the RB19's overall concept.

"I think that we all have a lot of pictures of the other cars," Vasseur said.

"But then it's quite difficult or even impossible to try to copy something because it's more a global concept and you can't copy just one part of the car."

Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing RB19. 02.06.2023 Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 8, Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona, Spain, Practice Day. -, EMail: © Copyright: Batchelor / XPB Images

Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko wasn't pleased with the reveal, but also insisted that the team's rivals would struggle to reproduce what the Milton Keynes-based outfit has done.

"Of course we don’t like it," said Marko. "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.

"It’s not only the floor," concluded the Austrian. "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."

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