‘A Shame That It Is Banned’ – Mercedes Originally Had Greater Plans for DAS in F1




At the pre-season testing at Barcelona, Mercedes surprised the grid when the on-board footage revealed that their drivers could push and pull the steering wheel. At that moment, the Brackley team introduced their DAS invention to the grid.

Dual Axis Steering allows Mercedes to change the angle of the front wheels by using the steering wheel. According to the report, the 2021 rule change has banned the concept. Meanwhile, Mercedes’ technical director, James Allison analyzes DAS’ effect on Mercedes.

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 13, 2020 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace

Allison acknowledged, “We ended up limiting ourselves to the first feature, which is relatively crude.

“It is a shame that it is banned for next year, but I understand it. I would say that it has probably offered most of what we expected. We have a part of what it can offer, but not all.

He continued, “It was very helpful in giving us the ability to warm up the tires on the starting laps and allow the front end to prepare well for a qualifying lap and similarly after the safety cars.

“We were hoping we could use it more on the course of a race, from old to new tires. The original idea is that it would be easier to turn around the curve with a little adjustment of DAS,” he further added.

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Allison highlights Mercedes DAS’ disadvantages

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action after the race Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace

The DAS brought some advantage to Mercedes. However, the Brackley engineer also pointed out some inconveniences caused by it. He pointed out, “The drivers didn’t find it easy to use it, as something that they could really push and pull while turning.”

“Perhaps in a full season in which we had not been so distracted by the covid, we could have had more opportunities to develop and test,” he concluded.

Mercedes have dominated the hybrid era and clinched their seventh consecutive title this season. They will look forward to increasing their record next season and provide its drivers with a car that helps them top the drivers’ championship as well.