It’s Spy versus Spy in Valencia!

The Williams spy could have chosen a better disguise

There is always fun and games in the pitlane at testing as teams try to get a look at other new cars while protecting their own intellectual property, and with eight 2011 models on view at Valencia this week there has been much to keep an eye on.

All teams study internet pictures and employ photographers to provide them with shots of their rivals’ machines. However in Valencia Williams used one of its engineers – someone who obviously knows what he’s looking for – to get some shots.

At least the team was open about it and didn’t use a ‘ringer’ like others are known to have done. A former Ferrari aero guy who famously once got caught taking pictures when out of team kit at a test also used to give an Aussie GP pass to a Melbourne-based relative. The fellow duly ambled up and down the Albert Park pitlane on the Wednesday and Thursday with his camera, looking every inch the tourist…

Of course they all know that the others are doing the same as them, which is why Red Bull covered the rear of RB7 with a silver blanket every time it came in, the crew looking menacingly around like a bunch of would-be bouncers. It’s a fruitless task. When Sebastian Vettel stopped during last year’s Australian GP a manufacturer team that employs its own full time photographer soon received a full portfolio of views of the blue machine.

Not every team took kindly to the presence of the Williams representative in Valencia. When he gatecrashed the Toro Rosso launch and tried to get shots of its trick aero – from a spot even the invited media had been asked to vacate – he was told by a team spokesman to ‘f**k off…’

NASCAR espionage lags behind F1

6 Comments

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6 responses to “It’s Spy versus Spy in Valencia!

  1. Peter G

    At least WILLIAMS show good taste in cameras. NIKON D3 (S) ?
    However, I feel a 300mm F2.8 or 500mm F4 would give better results, rather than a Nikon 300mm F4 and TC14E as shown.
    Must be the budget cuts 🙂

  2. F1 Kitteh

    Wow the Toro Rosso guy should feel quite complimented instead ..

  3. danshires

    Kudos to anyone who can make a Spy vs Spy reference in an F1 story!

  4. Maybe it’s a Sauber guy in disguise 😀

  5. Andy c

    Very good spot…. And funny.

  6. Ed

    Based on this, I won’t be surprised if some of the F1 snappers soon turn up all driving SLSs, MP4/12Cs and 458s!

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