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Mercedes reveals the secrets behind DAS

Mercedes has explained that the DAS development started two years ago

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Mercedes reveals the secrets behind DAS
Fuente imagen: Hasan Bratic

The DAS debut during the second pre-season tests was followed by a controversial discussion over the legitimacy of the innovation by Mercedes.

By pulling the steering wheel towards, Valterri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton were able to adjust the toe angle of the front wheels from the cockpit. The rivals questioned its legitimacy from a technical, sporting and safety perspective and the DAS has been outlawed for next season.

Mercedes, who has not opposed the decision, revealed that the idea emerged a couple of years ago.

John Owen, the chief designer of the Brackley’s team, explained that the dual-axis system originated from a separate project they had on the F1 car.

"The DAS system was born out of the ashes of something else we'd tried and actually raced on the car a couple of years ago that sort of worked, but didn't really deliver all the promise that we had in it.

"That was sort of put to one side as something we tried and perhaps didn't live up to our expectations.

"There are many other things like that that are out there, within the team, within people's minds, projects that people remember,” Owen said in a video on Mercedes' YouTube channel.

Owen continued remarking how Mercedes was uncertain whether the DAS fell within the rules. He also claimed that he expected the competitor’s reaction to appeal DAS as not regular.

"The DAS system was really well, what about if you could do something like this, what do the rules say?

"And the rules effectively didn't stop it. We thought that's unusual and surprising.

"Then you get into it more and more and more, and you say well how would I stop it, and take the opposite approach and say well I'm now going to stop someone from having this, what would I do, what would my arguments be?

"Then you have a system where you thought about what someone else's arguments would be, and you've made it so it doesn't trip up on any of those."

"I think we've seen with the DAS system already there's a lot of immediate reaction that it must not be within the rules," affirmed Owen.

"But the more people look at it, the more people say 'oh OK, maybe it is within the rules, and why haven't we seen it before?'.

"Now there's a definite [push] to find why it isn't within the rules, and that's just Formula 1 in general."

The Mercedes’ chief designer concluded, remarking how DAS is only one of the important innovations of the 2020 Mercedes.

"What the DAS system proved is that there's definitely craving in Formula 1 still for that sort of innovation, where suddenly the driver is moving the steering wheel different to what everyone else is, and something is happening that we didn't expect," Owen said.

"I think that's perhaps what's lacking, that visual innovation that people can talk about and get excited about.

"There's a lot of things on the 2020 Mercedes that are great innovations, none of which we really want to talk about because they are an important competitive advantage.

"But there is one of them that obviously is so visual, and talked about a lot.

"I think the sport would be better if there were more of those talking points. It would bring a lot more interest into the sport."





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