James Allison, technical director of the Mercedes Formula 1 team, admitted that Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas failed to optimise the use of the DAS system fitted to the W11 in 2020, a unique ‘party trick’ now banned for this year.
Last season, the Mercedes team caused quite a stir in the winter test when the media discovered live a brand new ingenious system mounted on the W11 called DAS (Dual Axis Steering).
This system allowed the driver to pull the steering wheel at the beginning of the straight, which resulted in a change in the camber angle and front-wheel toe-in when the car was running.
At first, nobody knew what such a system could be used for, but Mercedes eventually revealed that the drivers used the DAS to get the front tyres warmed up before the start of the race or before a qualifying timed lap; happy to reveal the secrets for the system once it was banned.
The DAS is now deemed illegal in relation to article 10.5.2 of the technical regulations which stipulates in the “driving” chapter that: “the alignment of the front wheels must only be done by a constant function of a movement of rotation of the steering wheel.”