Mercedes technical director James Allison confirmed the team have a “nice clutch of Red Bull imagery” to look over after Sergio Perez’s chassis was airlifted to safety at the Monaco Grand Prix.
Perez crashed out of qualifying at Sainte Devote and Allison revealed that the teams often place their own photographers at certain parts of the Monaco circuit where they feel the cranes may well get used, with cars removed in a way not seen at most other circuits around the tight confines of Monte Carlo.
With Red Bull being the runaway team of the season so far, having an unrestricted view of the floor of the RB19 was a rare gift for the rest of the field when the stricken car of Perez had to be lifted away from the circuit during qualifying.
The drawback for Mercedes was only a couple of hours earlier, though, when Lewis Hamilton’s crash in FP3 saw his W14 airlifted in a similar way and others were able to get a look underneath their car as well.
But with the Red Bull being such a prized asset among the paddock so far this season, the Mercedes technical director explained that the team’s inbox was quickly filled with pictures of what their rivals had come up with once it had been lifted into the air.
With that, as is always the case in Formula 1, they will be looking through what they have to see what they can learn about it.
“Well, certainly it always attracts a lot of interest,” Allison said when asked in Mercedes’ post-Monaco debrief what others can learn when cars are held aloft around tracks like Monaco.
“There’s a lot of scurrying around with team cameramen, not just to rely on the TV pictures which are low resolution and not good enough grade.
“Photographers are positioned at strategic parts of the track where there’s a likelihood that the cranes will be brought into play, and they’re there clicking away furiously and then our inbox is subsequently filled with the high-res images of other cars.
“Sadly, our own car had its trip into the heavens this weekend. There’ll be plenty of photos in our competitors’ inboxes from that, but yes, 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.”