Mercedes has been in the news for both the days of F1 testing whether via Racing Point or themselves as Lewis Hamilton and James Allison talking about the new system.
Having finished 1-2 on first day of F1 pre-season test at Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona, where Mercedes made headlines through its customer team Racing Point, on the second day it was through on innovative design which caught everyone by surprise.
With Racing Point, it was more about the team more or less cloning Mercedes W10 for the 2020 season, which raised few eyebrows for the midfield F1 teams but in case of the German outfit, the ‘Dual Axis Steering’ on Lewis Hamilton ‘s car raised several questions.
The biggest was ‘whether it is legal?’ Speaking to media including FormulaRapida.net, Allison played down the legality side, where he insisted that the FIA knows about the system and that there was no issues raised by the governing body.
“We have a system in the car, it’s a novel idea,” Allison said. “We’ve got a name for it. It’s called DAS, if you’re interested. It just introduces an extra dimension to the steering to control, to the driver, that we hope will be useful and bring advantage during the year.
“But precisely how we use it, why we use it, that’s something we’ll keep to ourselves. This isn’t news to the FIA, it’s something that we’ve been talking to them about for some time. The rules are pretty clear about what’s permitted on steering systems.
“And we’re pretty confident that it matches all of these requirements. Each of the new cars we bring to the track are just festooned with innovation. It’s just they’re not as obvious to you as a discreet standalone system like this where you can see it with your own eyes.”
Allison was all smiles that his rivals and everyone were so inquisitive about the system which was used by Hamilton during his run in the morning session. Videos showcased a lose steering system, where it moves towards him at the straights.
At the same time, in the corners, it got back to its original position. The intriguing part was the wheel/tyre movement when this happened. Additionally, the system seemed to be working in a custom way, rather than present at the laps.
Allison stated that they will be testing the system during the pre-season test and then decide if and how to use it during the season. Hamilton, meanwhile, praised the work of Mercedes in terms of innovation, while also adding about positive reaction from FIA.
“I’ve only had one morning on it, so I don’t really have a lot to talk about with it,” said Hamilton. “We’re trying to get on top of it, understand it, but safety wise no problem today and the FIA are okay with the project.
“For me it’s really encouraging to see that my team is continuing to innovate and stay ahead of the game, and I think that’s down to the great minds in the team and so hopefully that’ll work to our benefit.”
Here’s a video from F1 showcasing the new DAS system – FOM restricts from uploading
Here’s how Day 1 went
Here’s photos of all the 10 cars including Mercedes