Nico Rosberg counters Mercedes’ claims on impact of Red Bull floor reveal

Sam Cooper
Nico Rosberg speaking with Martin Brundle in Monaco. Monaco May 2022

Former F1 driver and 2016 World Champion Nico Rosberg speaking with Martin Brundle in Monaco. Monaco May 2022

Nico Rosberg has countered Mercedes’ claims that they will not be able to learn a lot from an image of Red Bull’s floor.

The underside of the RB19 was exposed to the whole world in Monaco after Sergio Perez’s qualifying crash resulted in the car being lifted up and out of the tight street circuit.

With the floor being one of few elements that F1 teams can keep secret, it was not just fans who were interested in Red Bull’s design but also those within the paddock hoping to learn a few secrets as to what makes the RB19 so quick.

Red Bull were not the only team to suffer such ignominy with Lewis Hamilton’s W14 also being lifted into the air in Monaco as well as Logan Sargeant’s Williams car in Spain but Silver Arrows trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin played down how significant a photo could be.

“All teams will be looking at the photos and I suspect that they’re looking a bit more at the Red Bull ones than the Mercedes or the Ferrari ones!” Shovlin told Sky F1.

“Certainly you can get ideas about what they’re trying to do with flow structures, where they might be going with the development direction. If you look at last year, you look at this year, you can understand a bit about what they’re doing there.

“But the reality is, while those pictures can give you a bit of inspiration or an idea, it’s not as simple as let’s copy that, put it on our car and we’ll be as quick as they are. It’s definitely not a case of that.

“And the reality is you’ve got to focus the vast amount of your effort on understanding your own car and developing from there. So I think a little bit of inspiration, but not much more than that.” recommends

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One person who did not believe that though, was a person Shovlin would have worked closely with and that is former driver Rosberg.

He disagreed and said that from one picture alone, Mercedes could generate a digital image and discover just how the RB19’s air flow works.

“Of course they have incredible talent at Mercedes,” Rosberg told Sky Sports. “And now the pictures from Monaco help a lot because thanks to Sergio’s crash there’s beautiful pictures of the underbody of the car.

“They can now take from those pictures and create a whole CAD (computer-aided design) model and do a whole accurate design in the computer of what that car is actually doing.

“That makes it very easy to start to really understand and learn about that Red Bull car.”