FIA rejects Mercedes’ first DAS optionJune 4, 2020
At the winter tests in Barcelona, Mercedes introduced a technical novelty – the DAS steering system, which allows riders to change the angle of the front wheel camber on the go. James Ellison, technical director of the champion team, said that the first version of DAS was developed back in 2019, but the FIA banned its use.
James Ellison: “How difficult was it to develop DAS? The simple answer is really difficult. Initially, we wanted to use this system in 2019. We shared our ideas with the FIA and explained why we consider DAS to be in compliance with regulations. The FIA reluctantly agreed that dual-axis steering is indeed legal.
However, they didn’t really like how we technically implemented the solution, since the control on the second axis was carried out by the lever on the steering wheel, and not by the steering wheel itself. Therefore, they said: “No, you need to make the steering wheel move completely.” I assume that the FIA expected that it would be very difficult for us to implement such a scheme, we will abandon DAS and the problem will disappear by itself.
However, our chief designer John Owen has accepted this challenge. At first glance, he understands how we are realizing this or that option from a technical point of view. This is a very useful quality that allows us to decisively spend money on a solution that most people find unobvious. John understands very well whether he can do something.
As I said, John accepted the challenge, considering that he would succeed. He brought together a group of talented engineers, and together they came up with two or three ways to implement DAS. We chose the best of the three offered – and a year later we had the DAS ready, which you saw at the beginning of this season. ”
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