DAS hasn’t ‘changed the game’ for Mercedes

Mark Scott
Valtteri Bottas Mercedes

Valtteri Bottas Mercedes

Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff, has played down the significance of their innovative DAS system and said it is not a game changer for them.

The dual-axis steering system, first introduced to the Formula 1 world by Mercedes back in February’s pre-season period, was in use on the Silver Arrows car throughout the season’s opening weekend in Austria.

It prompted fresh legality concerns after Red Bull lodged an official protest with the FIA, but the governing body revealed it was satisfied that the system was not in breach of the regulations.

Now Mercedes has the all-clear to use the system in 2020 before it is outlawed for 2021 and beyond, Wolff has said it is not as revolutionary compared to other breakthrough innovations in the sport.

“I think in F1 people are always interested in technical innovation and describing what seems to be a silver bullet, that could potentially be a game changer,” said Wolff, as quoted by Autosport.

“The last time I saw such a thing was the double diffuser, but since then it’s more about the marginal gains, adding performance parts, and in a similar way DAS is a great innovation.

“It adds a new dimension to the steering, and will hopefully over its development period add some performance.

“But today you wouldn’t be able to say this has changed the game for us. I don’t want to go into the specifics.

“It’s great innovation, the idea behind it is fantastic, and I love that fact if it us or another team that comes up with new ideas.”

Wolff also declared himself happy with the timing of Red Bull’s protest, which happened after Friday practice in Spielberg, as it did not bring the eventual race result into disrepute.

“The system is so innovative that is fair enough that clarification is being sought,” he said.

“I must say it was fair play from Red Bull to seek that clarification by a protest on Friday and not on Sunday night.

“I think it would have been detrimental for F1 to go back to the first race, have a result on track, then a protest, and it wouldn’t be clear who has won.

“I like the sportsmanship of the decision. And it’s absolutely OK to protest, I think we would have done it the other way around too.

“I’m happy that the FIA has been very consistent with their verdict.

“We’ve obviously had a lot of conversations with them, we didn’t want to run something that they would deem to be over the line, and therefore the outcome reflects the changes and opinions that we’ve had with the FIA over the last few months.”

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