DAS was the hot topic of the second day of testing when Lewis Hamilton was spotted pulling his steering wheel on the straights. This activates a mechanism which alters the toe angle of the front wheels, potentially bringing with it all sorts of benefits to aerodynamics, handling, cooling and more.
Such a radical system looks like something the FIA would swarm all over and move to ban. But Mercedes had already checked and been given the thumbs up and so – assuming it works properly and does improve performance – we’ll be seeing it on the W11 this season.
But only this season. A change to the technical regulations for 2021 outlaws DAS systems, the new article (10.5) stating:
The re-alignment of the steered wheels, as defined by the position of the inboard attachment of the relevant suspensions members that remain a fixed distance from each other, must be uniquely defined by a monotonic function of the rotational position of a single steering wheel.
With some of the smaller midfield teams already mentioning the difficulty, cost, and time required to make a DAS of their own, it’ll be interesting to see who continues to develop a system which they’ll only be able to use for a few months before it’s outlawed.