Adrian Newey can be seen on the starting grid at all the GPs in which he is present. The English genius, with his red notebook, does not give up scrolling the line-up to watch live the technical solutions that bring the various teams onto the track. Adrian’s peculiarity is that he doesn’t limit himself to monitoring the top teams’ F1s, but very often goes to find the ideas that can also be seen emerging from the rear. Williams included, despite being the least performing car at the start of a Grand Prix. A detail of the bottom of the FW45 struck the Milton Keynes project manager and he did not hesitate to copy the concept seen in the last row.
Red Bull RB19: here is the modification to the bottom, Williams style, which appeared in Barcelona
Photo by: Uncredited
The revelation comes from Paul Monagham, chief of engineers at Red Bull. During the Sunday “Show and tell” that the FIA organizes at each GP with journalists to explain the technical evolutions that the teams have brought to the track in Barcelona, Paul was keen to underline a curiosity as he described the two modifications to the RB19 introduced in Spain on the pavement of the background and on the rear diffuser…
“We cannot assume that we have the best fit in all areas of the car when putting a new car on the ground for the first time. We have the lap time as a parameter to evaluate a solution. And if you find that Williams introduced a floor design that others then copied, so that was a sign that it had to give an edge.”
The bottom of the Williams FW45 that inspired Newey for the RB19
Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images
Adrian saw it and had his technicians evaluate it: “It didn’t necessarily work on our car either, but we tested it a couple of times and it emerged that it could give a small advantage. And when the solution was assembled, the result was bigger than we actually thought. It’s certainly not the most influential thing, but it helps a little. It was an area we were working on so it was possible to introduce this solution as well”.
Monaghan’s admission deserves to be told, if only for the fact that Williams was subjected to heavy “smashing” via social media after some images of the bottom taken from below were released following Logan Sargeant’s off-track at the last corner of Montmelò.
Stewards clear car of Logan Sargeant, Williams FW45, from gravel after crash in FP3
Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images
The “keyboard lions” simply looking at the FW45 from below had baptized the Williams fund worthy only of a Formula 4: the Grove team, which certainly does not have the financial and human resources of Red Bull, however took away the satisfaction to be copied by the world champion team. And sometimes it takes very little to get some satisfaction…