Despite the threat of a protest from Red Bull, Valtteri Bottas expects to be “DAS-ing the straights” at the Australian GP.
Mercedes’ dual-axis steering system made its debut in pre-season testing and caused quite the stir – by pushing and pulling their steering wheel both Bottas and Lewis Hamilton can control the tow of their front wheels, resulting in less drag, better cornering abilities and lower tyre wear.
The device already has been banned from 2021, but Red Bull have said they will protest the device if Mercedes use it at the season-opener in Melbourne.
Bottas isn’t sweating it though and expects to be “DAS-ing the straights” of Albert Park.
“I’m sure we’ll be DAS-ing some of the straights,” he is quoted by Autosport.
“It depends which kind of laps, and which sessions, and so on.
“But we’re still happy to have it in the car. We hope it can give an advantage, but again, we will see.”
Speaking about the threatened protest he said: “Well, I’m sure we will have to wait for what happens, but like I said earlier we would we would be happy to run it.
“But it is up to the team to calculate the possible risk of it being taken away.
“In short answer, yes, we would like to keep it, but if there’s a big risk we don’t, there is no big problem then.”
Bottas isn’t certain yet when the system would be used in Australia, but qualifying would be a strong possibility.
“That is something we would need to see in practice. Most likely yes, we’ll use it in qualifying,” he said.
The Finn also said he trusts the team after they worked on a fix to the engine reliability issues which plagued them in pre-season testing, while Williams were also let down by their Mercedes power units.
“I think we made the most out of testing,” he explained.
“It is quite normal that it does not run 100%, and you do find things that you can do better from testing to the first race, and with engine issues.
“Yes, we’ve looked into those and done everything we can to make sure that we can run as much power as we can with good reliability.
“For sure, good learnings from there. I feel confident, I really trust the team on that. But I guess we’ll find out as the season goes on.”