Lewis Hamilton’s steering wheel is the centre of attention on the second day of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.
Hamilton, who set the early pace on the first day of testing, hopped back into the Mercedes W11 for the morning session of day two and his on-board footage has caused many to speculate over what is exactly going on with his steering wheel.
Something very strange going on with Lewis's steering wheel. pic.twitter.com/PUf8TG4oTn
— Ky (@FiftyBucksss) February 20, 2020
Not only is the steering wheel being pushed and pulled as Hamilton navigates the corners and straights, but those movements also seem to be perfectly aligned to the movement of the front wheels.
OK, don't just watch the back and forth of the movement from the steering wheel, watch how the wheel toes back in as the car straightens. This is a trick to improve upon the issues caused by POU for the driver… https://t.co/Qj8UukvVyP
— Matthew Somerfield 🅢🅞🅜🅔🅡🅢Ⓕ① (@SomersF1) February 20, 2020
The leading suggestion is Hamilton is able to increase his input into the steering wheel to create dynamic ride height adjustment as he makes his way through the circuit.
Here is more footage of the clear steering wheel movement in action.
— Savlar (@SavlarSVK) February 20, 2020
By being able to toe the wheels in and out during a lap, the major benefits that brings are: better handling through the corners, reduced tyre wear and a drag reduction on the straights.
There are doubts as to whether this is a legal ‘trick driving system’ and it is a case of watch this space if other teams do decide to launch a protest.
Article 10.2.3 of the FIA Formula 1 technical regulations states that ‘no adjustment may be made to any suspension system while the car is in motion.’
Since the on-board footage has been shown, the system appeared to not be in use again with Hamilton seemingly able to shut the mode off completely.
However, he was seen using the system again later on in the morning session.