Mercedes "pretty confident" new DAS system is legal

Mercedes is "pretty confident" the new steering mode system it debuted in Barcelona Formula 1 testing on Thursday is legal, and says it had kept the FIA updated during the development process.

Mercedes "pretty confident" new DAS system is legal

Mercedes sparked intrigue throughout the paddock after Lewis Hamilton was seen moving his steering wheel towards him on the straights during today’s test running, appearing to alter the toe angle of the front wheels.

The adjustments would theoretically offer a better set-up for corners while also reducing drag on the straights.

Speaking on Thursday in Barcelona, Allison said the new system was called ‘DAS’ - standing for ‘dual axis steering’.

“We have a system in the car, it’s a novel idea,” Allison said. “We’ve got a name for it. It’s called DAS, if you’re interested. It just introduces an extra dimension to the steering, to the driver, that we hope will be useful during the year.

“But precisely how we use it, why we use it, that’s something we’ll keep to ourselves.”

Mercedes AMG F1 steering wheel

Mercedes AMG F1 steering wheel

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Read Also:

The legality of the system was immediately questioned after the onboard footage from Hamilton’s car emerged, but Allison stressed the FIA was aware of its usage.

“This isn’t news to the FIA, it’s something that we’ve been talking to them about for some time,” Allison said.

“The rules are pretty clear about what’s permitted on steering systems, and we’re pretty confident that it matches all of these requirements.”

Hamilton said the team spent the morning “trying to get on top of it and understand it”, but had no safety concerns.

“Safety-wise, there were no problems today,” Hamilton said. "The FIA are OK with the project. For me it’s really encouraging to see that my team is continuing to innovate and stay ahead of the game.

“I think that’s just down to the great minds that we have working in this team. Hopefully it will work.”

Allison said the introduction of DAS was merely one of a number of innovations on the new Mercedes W11 car, which set the pace on the opening day of pre-season testing in Barcelona.

“Each of the new cars we bring to the track are just festooned with innovation,” Allison said.

"It’s just they’re not as obvious to you as a discreet standalone system like this where you can see it with your own eyes.

“One of the things that gave me massive pride is to be part of a team that doesn’t just turn the sausage handle each year, that is looking each year at how we can learn fast enough to bring all these innovations to the track and make them stick.

“This is fun, but it’s only the tip of an iceberg of similar stuff that’s across the car.”

shares
comments
Tech insight: What does Mercedes' steering wheel mode do?

Previous article

Tech insight: What does Mercedes' steering wheel mode do?

Next article

Alfa Romeo's new F1 simulator "will take time" to be ready

Alfa Romeo's new F1 simulator "will take time" to be ready
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Luke Smith
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Prime

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warm-up. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021