Mercedes is adamant its W11’s steering wheel’s DAS system is completely legitimate and has the FIA’s approval.
Mercedes raised eyebrows at the Circuit de Catalunya on Thursday when Lewis Hamilton trialled the system out on track.
Eagle-eye fans noted that the Brit’s steering wheel was moving towards him down the straight and back to its normal position at the entry to corners.
That looks interesting 🧐 pic.twitter.com/ZTjKU0URnh
— Robert Doornbos (@robertdoornboss) February 20, 2020
This not only improves handling through the corners but also reduces tyre wear and acts as a drag reduction down the straights.
There were, however, questions about the system’s legality as 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.’
Mercedes technical director James Allison faced the media in the lunch time press conference at the Barcelona circuit where, naturally, most questions were about the system.
“It’s a new system,” he explained. “We call it DAS.
“It opens up additional possibilities and creates a new dimension in steering. It will benefit the driver throughout the season.”
Allison wasn’t willing to “shed a great deal more light” about DAS, which speculation believes stands for ‘dual axis steering’.
“Precisely how we use it, why we use it… that’s something we’ll keep to ourselves,” he added.
He is, however, confident that DAS is legal.
“This isn’t new to the FIA,” he said. “We’re talking to them for some time now.
“The rules are pretty clear about what’s prevented on steering systems and we’re pretty confident it matches all of those requirements.”