Images of the floor of the Williams FW45 emerged following Logan Sargeant’s crash during final practice at last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, prompting comparisons to their competitors. 

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Interest surrounding F1’s latest generation of ground-effect floors has piqued in recent weeks after the undersides of the Red Bull and Mercedes were exposed in Monaco. 

Vowles pointed out that the images of the Williams FW45 are “a little bit deceptive”. 

"There were photos taken of our floor this weekend after Logan went off in FP3 and obviously those have been compared to photography taken of our competitors just a few weeks ago," he said in a video released by Williams.

"I think one thing to point out is that it is a little bit deceptive. 

"What happened here is it's very focused on that rear diffuser ramp, unlike the other photos that perhaps focus more on the front of the floor and the mid-floor where you can actually, within the regulations, add more detail.”

Despite his acknowledgement about Williams’ floor, Vowles insisted that simply copying rival designs is not a viable solution. 

“We are clearly lacking detail relative to our competitors but you wouldn't have needed the underside of the floor to know that," he explained. 

"You can see that from lap times. That's fundamentally a feature of balance characteristics and the car's performance, and downforce as well at the same time, and a lot of that is being generated by the floor.

“Understanding what your competitors do by getting an image of it and simply copying it won’t help you. It may give you an instantaneous leg up and understanding of where you should be moving forward. 

“But if you don’t understand the science and the reason behind it and the flow dynamics, you’ll just have a moment in time rather than an idea of how to consistently become not just as good as them, but better. 

“Furthermore, whatever you have seen on a competitor is at least six-to-eight weeks out of date and where they are now is further forward. 

“So the key behind it all is actually understanding why have they developed the floor in the way they have, and what can we learn from it and apply it to where we are today to advance our understanding."