Horner not bothered by Red Bull’s rivals ‘looking up our skirt’

2023 Monaco Grand Prix

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner isn’t concerned their rivals had a chance to inspect their car’s seldom-seen floor when Sergio Perez car was lifted by a crane on Saturday.

The team has enjoyed a crushing superiority over its rivals since the mid-point of last season with its RB18 and RB19 designs and yesterday scored its 16th win from the last 17 grands prix.

Much of their performance advantage is believed to come from how air flows beneath the car’s floor. Rivals had a rare chance to view Red Bull’s design when Perez’s car was lifted away after he crashed during Q1 in Monaco.

“It’s very rude to look up people’s skirts,” Horner joked when asked if he was concerned about his car’s secrets being revealed.

The underside of Mercedes’ W14 was also exposed when Lewis Hamilton crashed at Mirabeau during final practice. “It’s been a bit of a show and tell for all the teams this weekend,” Horner said. “Everybody’s been up in the air at some point. So it’s the same for everyone.”

However Horner believes Red Bull’s rivals would have already had a good idea what their car’s floor looks like.

“Pictures of floors get taken in and around the paddock,” he said. “They arrive in vans, they work with the cars, the shutters are up. Each team will be employing spy photographers to get pictures of the cars when they’re in parts and pieces. So that’s common practice.

“I wouldn’t have thought it’s the first picture of the floor. It’s probably the first time it’s been suspended from a crane. But all teams are always striving for that intelligence.”

Aston Martin’s performance director Tom McCullough was relieved their car wasn’t exposed in the same way. “I’m sure the aerodynamicists will be having a good look at all the cars that have been lifted up,” he said. “Thankfully ours haven’t been lifted up yet. Let’s try to keep it that way.”

F1 designers are especially anxious to avoid their cars’ floors being seen, he said. “The aerodynamicists never want you to share that. You learn a lot from just even how the plank’s wearing, you learn a lot from what’s touching [the ground].

“But there’s a lot of very excited aerodynamics up and down the pit lane looking at all those I dare say.”

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2023 Monaco Grand Prix

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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19 comments on “Horner not bothered by Red Bull’s rivals ‘looking up our skirt’”

  1. Well he would say that, wouldn’t he!

    I think this could be a real turning point. Red Bull’s advantage is all aerodynamics and that’s just been fully revealed.

    There’s a reason Red Bull mechanics form a human wall around the back of the car on the grid!

    1. Not fully revealed. You’d need a full 3D scan with extremely high fidelity. A few photos doesn’t reveal everything. It’s not ideal of course.

      1. @dang – They don’t do so all the time, though, & this is mostly a thing (for any team) with front-end rather than rear.

        @Alan Dove – Not only photos, but also live world feed footage, which shows the floor in even more angles than still images.

        1. Still doesn’t reveal everything. You need a detailed scan to come close to that. It’s one thing construction a rough copy of it, it’s asnother thing having a working digital model that can generate valuable CFD/windtunnel results. And when all these are limited it’s very difficult to emulate another car.

          1. Not at all, even from that photo I notice the “hollow” in the floor. The plank is flat but the floor has a distinct hollow section. Whilst you wont get an accurate measurement of the depth, width and its “pear” shape, it does not require much time with CFD software to start playing with this concept.

            People like McLaren, Ferrari, Aston Marten and Mercedes can bypass the budget cap by “experimenting” with the hollow floor for road/sports car application.

            The other section most interesting to the flow dynamics, now in full view, is how the floor airflow is directed to the rear wing. Before only ground level photos showed the exit of the floor flow. Now they have a 3D picture to model and play with.

    2. “Red Bull’s advantage is all aerodynamics”, you’re so wrong you’re even unaware of it.

  2. how dare you show sensored pictures like that. Overweight and now fully exposed!?..

    I only see that part of the picture, maybe that’s why I’m not F1 engineer. Those who are could get some ideas from that.

  3. Everybody was up in the air? Which other car was lifted up like this, apart from the Mercedes?

    1. Sainz in FP? Maybe not as high up, but I’m sure it was far enough for spy photographers.

  4. Trust Horner to make it sound really creepy

  5. I’m not very good in English but isn’t what Horner says a bit naughty? :)

  6. Electroball76
    29th May 2023, 13:05

    But.. but.. they’ll see the giant fan!

    1. That we would have been pretty hilarious.

  7. I’m glad Keith waited for Horner to say that and only then posted a blurry photo.

  8. Hah!! Once again Red Bull dazzles with the one hand, while performing with the other. Everybody is concentrating on the floor(aerodynamics). Meanwhile the important factor is the way the rear suspension crumples when hitting the wall – at the right angle….

  9. I thought RBR would be cross about showing the underside but seeing Horners comment made me sure of it

  10. Perhaps that dirty Red Bull should have been wearing panties!

  11. “and another thing: im not mad. please dont put in the newspaper that i got mad.”

  12. Hmmmm Meaning Max and Perez have different cars

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