Mercedes Formula 1 technical chief James Allison says he is not concerned about the legality of a steering wheel system on its W11, which has been labelled DAS (Dual-Axis Steering).
TV footage on Thursday morning noted that Lewis Hamilton was
moving his steering wheel forwards and back along the pits and back straight at
the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
The footage suggested that the toe of the front tyres reacted in accordance to the steering wheel moving, creating a potential advantage in reducing drag and keeping tyres in their optimum window.
Allison confirmed on Thursday lunchtime that Mercedes had checked
with the FIA that its system was permitted within the regulations.
“No not really, this
isn’t news to the FIA,” Allison said on legality worries.
“It’s something we’ve been
talking to them for some time. The rules are pretty clear about what’s
permitted on steering systems and we’re pretty confident that it matches those
“It just introduces an extra dimension for the steering, for the
driver, which we hope will be useful during the year.
“But precisely how we use it and
why we use it, that’s something we will keep to ourselves.”
Allison was nonetheless keen to
stress that focus on the DAS detracts attention from other areas of the W11.
“Perhaps one of the things that’s
not greatly appreciated is that each of the cars we bring to the track are
festooned with innovation,” he said.
“It’s just not as obvious with a
discrete, standalone system like this when you can see it with your own eyes.
“One of the things that gives me
massive pride from working with Mercedes is to give me part of a team that
doesn’t just turned the sausage handle each year, but is working out how we can
work fast enough to bring these innovations to the track and make them stick.
“This is fun but it’s only the
tip of an iceberg of similar stuff that’s written across the car.”