FIA didn't believe Mercedes could get DAS to work


Having made its controversial debut in pre-season testing, F1 fans will have to wait just a few more weeks before they see Mercedes controversial DAS (dual axis steering) in action.

Already banned for 2021, even though teams will continue to use their 2020 cars, Ferrari and Red Bull have expressed unease over the system though before the (2021) ban it is anticipated that they were working on their own versions.

In a new team video, technical director, James Allison has revealed that after presenting its DAS concept to the FIA in 2019, the governing body called for modifications that it didn't believe the German team could resolve.

"Hold my beer," said chief designer, John Owen according to Allison.

"It was really quite difficult indeed," admitted Allison in answer to a fan's question in the video. "And in fact we first wanted to introduce this in 2019.

"We took our ideas to the FIA, showed them, explained why we thought it was legal. And they begrudgingly agreed that dual-axis steering was actually legal," he continued. "But they didn't much like the way we'd done it, because the second axis we were getting from a lever on the wheel, rather than that whole wheel movement.

"So they said, ‘no, you're going to have to move the whole wheel in and out', and I think when they said that they were hoping that would be too difficult, and we would go away and cause them no more problems.

"(However) we have a very inventive chief designer, John Owen, and he took one look at that challenge, he's got a really good gut feel for whether something is doable or not, and that's a really helpful characteristic, because it allows us to be quite brave spending money when most people would feel the outcome was quite uncertain.

"John has a good feel for whether he's going to be able to get out of the woods, and into fair ground again. John took that challenge on, reckoned he could do it, put it out to our very talented group of mechanical designers, and between them they cooked up two or three ways in which it might be done.

"We picked the most likely of those three, and about a year after that out popped the DAS system that you saw at the beginning of this season."

Article from Pitpass (

Published: 03/06/2020
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