Ferrari’s Mattia Binotto, Red Bull’s Adrian Newey, Renault’s Alan Permane and Daniel Ricciardo and McLaren’s Andreas Seidl give their opinions on Mercedes’ DAS system.
Ever since Mercedes’ Dual Axis Steering system was revealed during the second day of pre-season testing, the Formula 1 world cannot stop talking about it.
One of the topics being discussed is the legality of the system. While it was revealed by the FIA that the system will not be allowed in 2021, debate still rages on about its legality in 2020. Red Bull’s technical director Adrian Newey isn’t so sure about it.
“There must be aerodynamic reasons [for DAS],” Newey told Auto Motor und Sport.
“And I find it difficult to see how that would be legal. The driver isn’t steering the car when he pushes or pulls the steering wheel.”
Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto already said that the Italian team would ask the FIA for clarification on the system’s legality. However he doesn’t think the system will be “a game changer”.
“There are a lot of innovations on cars, and I think that a few of the solutions which are on the Mercedes have been copied from the Ferrari, and vice versa,” said Binotto.
“[DAS] is certainly visible. As a game changer? I don’t think so.
“I think it’s part of the entire package and as such I think it’s a good package they’ve got.”
Binotto added the development of such a system would take Ferrari some time.
“It will certainly be longer than the first Grand Prix in Melbourne. It is a first-concept design, production, homologation, it has to be safe.
“If it is to be made it can’t be before mid-season,” concluded the Italian.
There’s also some concern about the safety of such a system, especially when it comes to tyres. DAS appears to adjust the ‘toe-in’ and ‘toe-out’ of the tyres while the car is in motion, but Pirelli says it doesn’t affect safery.
“We analysed the tyres of all the teams during the tests and did not find anything strange on the ones used by Mercedes,” said Pirelli boss Mario Isola.
Renault’s sporting director Alan Permane is also a bit puzzled by the ins and outs of the system, but he applauds the ‘cleverness’ of it.
“I think we were a little bit wide-eyed [about] what’s it doing, how’s it doing it,” said Permane.
“Like most people I think we did a bit of video analysis. We don’t know what it’s doing I guess.
“James [Allison] and his men have done something clever and undoubtedly they think there is plenty of lap time in it.
“Obviously Mercedes have clearly found something they think is a benefit, and I think that’s one of the rather wonderful things about Formula 1.”
The praise for Mercedes also came from Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo.
“Hats off to them because they have been dominant this whole turbo era, yet they are still the ones pushing everyone else,” said the Australian.
“It should be us and everyone else pushing them and they’re not getting complacent and I think that’s why they’ve been so dominant.
“They’re setting an example right now and as a competitor, I certainly respect that. It’s good for everyone to see how far they’re willing to go.”
Ricciardo added he doesn’t believe other teams “thought about” such a system.
“I think everyone up until now – I’ve never heard of a system like that talked about, so I don’t think maybe anyone had really thought about it.
“I don’t want to say anyone, but probably not many people talked about that.
“I don’t know if it was ever a conversation had, but I’m sure the conversation’s happening in every team right now.”
And Finally McLaren’s team principal Andreas Seidl also applauded Mercedes’ innovativeness.
“Hats off to Mercedes for this kind of innovation, which is great to see in Formula 1,” said Seidl.
“Hats off also for all the publicity they created for Mercedes by that.
“I don’t know details about the system, so I think it will be wrong to even judge it, what it brings, and so.
“I think for us as a team where we are right now, we have other areas we have to focus on, where we can make bigger steps than trying to copy a system from Mercedes.”