Wolff: Must avoid DAS debate after Austrian GP

Date published: July 3 2020

Christian Horner head in hands

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is keen to avoid the result of the Austrian Grand Prix coming under protest over his team’s DAS system.

The Dual Axis Steering system allows Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas to adjust the toe of their front wheels whilst driving via the steering wheel.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner though, while admitting it is a “very clever system”, is seeking clarification from the FIA over its legality.

Speaking in Friday’s FIA press conference, as quoted by racefans.net, Horner said: I think the fundamental question for us is does it comply with with the regulations in what is pretty fundamentally a grey area.

“We do want clarity on it because it does have an impact regarding the rest of this year. It’s something that’s been outlawed for next year but the question is is it right for this year? So they are the questions that we’ll be asking of the FIA through the necessary channels.”

But while Wolff welcomes Horner’s call for clarification, he stressed that F1 needs to avoid controversy surrounding the result in Austria come Sunday with the sport already in a delicate state ahead of the season-opener.

“There was a lot of talking and exchange with the FIA. That is the reason why we have it on the car. So we will both bring our arguments forward and then let’s see,” he said.

“I think, against what you would expect, all teams are pretty much aware that we are in a sensitive situation with going racing.

“It’s the first race. I think on one side, it’s fair enough to seek clarification, on the other side we are aware that we don’t want to end up with a big debate on Sunday night. So I think Red Bull is going to take [and] Christian is going to take the right actions.

“Controversy and different judgement on engineering innovation has always been part of Formula 1. This is what’s to be expected in a way. It’s part of the racing.”

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Horner said that Red Bull have been looking at whether or not the system could be of benefit to their RB16, but they are still understanding the “penalties” for adding it.

“It’s a very complicated system, obviously a lot of work has gone into it,” he said.

“We’ve certainly looked at it and, like any component, it has to earn its place on the car for the penalty that it carries whether that be weight or packaging, et cetera. So it’s certainly something that subject to a clarification would be under evaluation for the rest of this year.”

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