The Formula 1 racing team Red Bull officially protested against the DAS (Dual Axis Steering) system in Mercedes vehicles on Friday. According to Red Bull, the system violates Articles 3.8 and 10.2.3 of the Technical Regulations. The race stewards checked and rejected this on Saturday night.
Rules 3.8 and 10.2.3 in the FIA’s technical regulations stipulate that DAS is supposedly a movable aerodynamic component for the Red Bull Racing Team, which – with restrictions – is generally prohibited. Article 10.2.3 also prohibits changing the suspension of the bolide while driving:
3.8) With the exception of the parts described in Articles 11.4, 11.5 and 11.6 and the rear-view mirrors described in Article 14.3, all specific parts of the vehicle that affect its aerodynamic properties are:
a. Must comply with body regulations.
b. Must be rigidly attached to the entire jump part of the car (rigidly attached means having no degree of freedom).
With the exception of the driver-adjustable body described in article 3.6.8 (in addition to the minimum parts exclusively related to its operation) and the parts described in articles 11.4, 11.5 and 11.6, all specific parts of the vehicle that are aerodynamic Affect properties remain immobile in relation to the jumping part of the car.
Any device or construction designed to bridge the gap between the jumping part of the car and the ground is prohibited under all circumstances.
No part with aerodynamic influence and no part of the bodywork, with the exception of the parts referred to in Articles 3.7.10, 3.7.11 and 3.7.12, must under no circumstances be below the reference plane.
With the exception of the parts necessary for the adjustment described in Article 3.6.8, any vehicle system, device or process that uses the movements of the driver to modify the aerodynamic characteristics of the vehicle is prohibited.
10.2.3) No adjustments may be made to a suspension system while driving.
During the course of Friday evening there was a hearing with the race stewards, whereby the Mercedes “Silver Arrow” stable was quite confident that it would withstand the protest – otherwise the system would not have been installed. Red Bull has already announced in advance that it will protest as soon as the system is used. The FIA previously assumed that it was a steering system and not part of the chassis.
The race stewards in Spielberg rejected the Red Bull protest on Saturday evening and saw no cause for complaint, as it is not a chassis but a steering system.
In a six-page justification, the commissioners largely follow Mercedes’ argument that “DAS” is a steering system, even if it is not a conventional steering system. One reason for this is the assumption that the direction of travel changes during normal steering depending on the setting of the lane values, after which the system influences the direction of travel. Like the steering itself, the new system is operated by the driver’s power, which is also supported by the hydraulics.
THE system – the new track adjustment system
The Mercedes F1 team’s DAS system is a depot of another solution that the Silver Arrows had previously used. The new system was first noticed during the winter tests in Barcelona, during which the drivers Hamilton and Bottas pulled the steering wheel towards them, only to push it forward again later. Since then, “Dual Axis Steering” has been a topic of conversation.
Mercedes F1 team
The system refers to the Ackermann angle, which describes the difference in the steering angle between the inner and outer wheels. If this angle were changed, each wheel could take a different path to improve the slip angle. Here Mercedes has built a variable system to adjust the angle according to the curve radius. The effect: improved vehicle handling and longer tire life and performance. Even more aggressive angles are possible to reset the settings on the straight (and improve the speed by a maximum of approx. 1 km / h).