Valtteri Bottas says Mercedes’ Dual-Axis System has been in development for over a year, and is hopeful that it will give the team a performance advantage.
Mercedes fitted the DAS – which enables the steering wheel to move back and forth along the straights, adjusting the toe angle – for the final two days of Formula 1’s opening test in Spain.
Its legality was queried in some quarters but quickly clarified by Mercedes’ technical boss James Allison, while the FIA says it has no safety concerns over the device.
Mercedes dominated the first test atop the timesheets as Bottas clocked a time of 1:15.732s leaving the W11 over 1.3s faster than the next-quickest package.
“Obviously it’s very nice to be in a team that comes up with this kind of system,” said Bottas.
“It tells something about the great minds our team has and, for sure it’s not an easy thing to start to design it and making it work.
“We are still learning a lot about it and developing its potential, but I think sometimes, in certain circumstances, it can be pretty good.
“But that will be shown later on in the year, in different conditions, different tracks, how it can help us, if it can. But it’s quite impressive and it has been working fine.
“I’ve been aware of it for quite a long time, as it was not a quick project. So, the first time I heard about it was something like one year ago.”
Beyond the implementation of DAS, Bottas was lifted by the early feedback from the W11.
“I would say the main improvements are the stability we’ve had with the car,” he said.
“Actually the rear end of the car feels really stable and makes it very drivable.
“We’re still discovering many things with set-ups to find something more than last year: I would say the balance through the entire speed range, from high to low speed corners is more together than in last year’s car.
“That’s what we were aiming for and I don’t want to say much more about it. At the moment we have found no negatives compared to last year yet and that’s positive.”