FREE NEWSLETTER

Mercedes DAS system ruled legal

6 July 2020

One of the main stories of Formula 1’s pre-season testing in Barcelona revolved around the legality of Mercedes’ innovative new steering system. The Dual Axis Steering (DAS) system, as it is known, enables the Mercedes drivers to alter the toe of the car while on track by sliding the steering wheel backwards and forwards. This adjusts the toe of the front tyres, which could have several benefits, from improving the car’s aero efficiency on the straights to more effectively managing tyre temperatures.

The introduction of the system has been contentious, and before the first race of the season, Red Bull lodged a protest, questioning the legality of the innovation. Red Bull argued that the device breached both article 3.8 of the Technical Regulations, which refers to aerodynamic influence, and article 10.2.3, which states that “no adjustment may be made to any suspension system while the car is in motion.”

However, after a stewards’ hearing attended by representatives of both teams, as well as the Nikola Tombazis of the FIA Technical Department, it was determined that while it was unconventional, Mercedes’ Dual Axis Steering is actually part of the W11 steering system, and not part of the suspension. As such, the system could not be in breach of any regulations pertaining to suspension.

“As a general conclusion, it is very simple to conclude DAS would be illegal IF it were not part of the steering system,” read the stewards’ document. “So, the main challenge and debate has to be on whether it can be considered to be part of the steering system. The stewards decide that DAS is a part of the steering system.

“Therefore, the Stewards consider DAS to be a legitimate part of the steering system and hence to satisfy the relevant regulations regarding suspension or aerodynamic influence.”

While the decision may represent an immediate victory for Mercedes, the competitive advantage of running the system, which will be outlawed next year, may be short lived, as the verdict could pave the way for other teams introducing similar systems in the near future, something Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has already hinted could be in the works.

Partners

Latest issue

FREE Newsletter

Stay up to date and a chance to win 1 Years Subscription*

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Latest Tweets

Stay up to date with our social world

RACE TECH magazine @RaceTechmag
11 Jun
McLaren Racing joins Extreme E - https://t.co/CPX5DkZfiX https://t.co/4ZPYSXbBNr
RACE TECH magazine @RaceTechmag
10 Jun
July issue of RACE TECH out now and FREE for a limited time only! From #ElectricVehicles #touringcars to the launch… https://t.co/v1F4XJXQwk
RACE TECH magazine @RaceTechmag
3 Jun
July issue of RACE TECH out now! From #ElectricVehicles #touringcars to the launch on the Next Gen #NASCAR @NASCARhttps://t.co/3u4JImZB2e
RACE TECH magazine @RaceTechmag
25 May
Following the sad death of Max Mosley, we look back at our exclusive interview with him in 2018 where he talks abou… https://t.co/KfhVnztGmn
RACE TECH magazine @RaceTechmag
25 May
Motorsport tributes pour in following death of Max Mosley - https://t.co/cxIpYNcgo8 https://t.co/mqwkMqLruj
RACE TECH magazine @RaceTechmag
19 May
New @fia Standard improves on the most widely used seats in #Motorsport with the help of @D2HAdvTechhttps://t.co/JT8Z9ynFY0
RACE TECH magazine @RaceTechmag
19 May
June issue out now! Read it for FREE https://t.co/3U8QhLTK8j ✅ The architect of so much success in #FormulaOnehttps://t.co/yoLPCUFt0w
RACE TECH magazine @RaceTechmag
19 May
In case you missed it. Watch: #McLaren Racing reveal one-off Monaco #F1 livery https://t.co/O83D3ESOqu https://t.co/YqIMjVTZ1u