As anticipated yesterday, the FIA has officially forbidden the DAS system for 2021 onwards, although green light has been given for the device in the upcoming 2020 season.
It is now up to F1 teams to handle this double-edged sword and decide whether it is convenient for them to proceed with the emulation of Mercedes’ innovative solution.
The FIA reportedly regarded the steering wheel column of the W11 as ‘the safest’ on the grid, but given that its production process appears rather long (up to 6 months), spending time and monetary resources would not sound as sensible.
Now that Mercedes have disruptively ramped up their game, Ferrari and Red Bull are taking all factors into account to break down the structure, the pros and the cons of the infamous DAS.
While Sebastian Vettel confirmed that the investigation has begun in Maranello, Red Bull get the ball rolling with their first allegations.
"I am sure that a large part of the factory is studying it and is on the verge of understanding the system. We have to see if it would make sense for us” said Vettel.
Red Bull technical director Adrian Newey was among the first to express their doubts over the legality of the device and to question its sole purpose of making tyre heating more even.
"Controlling the tyre temperatures is not enough for me” – he was quoted as saying on Auto Motor und Sport- “There must be aerodynamic reasons. I'm having a hard time seeing how this is legal. The driver doesn't steer the car when he pulls the steering wheel towards him or pushes it away."
Red Bull consultant Helmut Marko was more vocal about it while corroborating Newey’s message. The Austrian believes the DAS is illegal, regarding it as the equivalent of an active suspension. “If you actively change the camber or lane of the wheels while driving, -he told Autobild - the contact area of the tyres’ changes. And with that - albeit in a very, very small area - the ground clearance. But that is forbidden because the system then corresponds to the functioning of a prohibited active suspension”.