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

Bosch logo
SADEV
AVL

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
10 Aug
24 Hours of Le Mans to be ran behind closed doors https://t.co/EKkwAoCk31
RACE TECH magazine @RaceTechmag
10 Aug
Our September issue is out now & it’s FREE! 👊 https://t.co/NDsZInw0nC ✅ The world’s first affordable competition sy… https://t.co/gL326pizM0
RACE TECH magazine @RaceTechmag
5 Aug
Get £25 OFF! The Ford that beat Ferrari a Racing History of the GT40 Third Edition. Now only £65! Cheaper than Amaz… https://t.co/kqjN8xJeCm
RACE TECH magazine @RaceTechmag
4 Aug
Allan McNish on motorsport's future https://t.co/IB7Jdq6Nb4
RACE TECH magazine @RaceTechmag
4 Aug
Pirelli reveals cause of British GP drama https://t.co/2BTr7beAwc
RACE TECH magazine @RaceTechmag
4 Aug
In our latest FREE issue don't miss our cover story 'Dawn of BTCC's Hybrid Era!' Great behind-the-scenes piece on… https://t.co/cSk4drpdY5
RACE TECH magazine @RaceTechmag
3 Aug
RACE TECH magazine @RaceTechmag
3 Aug
Our September issue is out now & it’s FREE! 👊 https://t.co/kz4Iog4jU9 ✅ The world’s first affordable competition… https://t.co/nRNCv3K2G5