Mercedes remove DAS for Portuguese practice

Date published: October 22 2020

Mercedes-PA

Mercedes are to run their cars without DAS during practice for the Portuguese Grand Prix on Friday in readiness for next year when the system is banned.

The Dual Axis Steering system, which first appeared in winter testing, alters the front wheel toe angle when the driver pushes or pulls on the steering wheel.

It is not used on every lap but has been helpful for Mercedes under certain circumstances this season, as it helps to quickly generate heat into the tyres such as at the end of Safety Car periods.

Mercedes are the only team to use it and, to prevent an expensive ‘arms race’ among all the teams, the FIA have already moved to outlaw it for next year.

The ban will force Mercedes to make changes to their steering system for 2021 and, according to Motorsport.com, they will take steps in race 12 of this season at the Algarve International Circuit to understand the consequence of the modifications.

The report says both Mercedes cars will run without DAS in Friday’s practice sessions. It is understood the test is aimed at helping both the team and drivers understand the implications of the DAS removal.

In taking the opportunity to assess this now, the team have plenty of time to react to any adverse behaviour they had not already expected.

Another change to the usual Friday practice procedure for drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas will be that in the first 30 minutes of FP2, a test of prototypes for potential 2021 Pirelli tyres is due to take place.

Earlier on Thursday, Hamilton had praised the job Mercedes have done in bringing DAS to F1 – and said they would find other ‘genius’ solutions in the future.

“A lot of the directions Valtteri and I have been pushing the car over these past couple of years have come to fruition, and then there’s, I’d say, things the team have dreamed up – some incredible designs such as DAS,” said the six-time World Champion, who holds a 69-point lead in this year’s standings with six races remaining.

“Of course, it’s not around for next year which is totally fine, we’ll find another – another of the geniuses will come up with another great way of moving the team forward.”

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