Co-owner and team principal of Mercedes F1 team Toto Wolff believes DAS was not a big advantage for his dominant F1 team last season, but admits that they will have to compensate for its loss in some way since the system has been banned from this year.
In last year’s pre-season tests, Mercedes surprised with an innovative dual-axis steering system that allowed the wheel toe angle to be changed while driving by moving the steering wheel in depth, and despite rival dissatisfaction, the DAS was declared legal.
But to prevent the costs required for its development, the FIA has decided to ban the system from 2021, so Mercedes will have to design the new F1 W12 without the DAS that helped them achieve the ideal temperature of the front tyres.
“It was a good tool that helped us warm up the tyres,” Wolff said.
“But it wasn’t a key element as it was often mentioned.”
“We’re going to have to compensate for that in some other way.”
“We just have to do our job, no matter what the rules are.”
Although a major rule change is scheduled for 2022, when cars will lose large amounts of downforce, the rule change for 2021 with smaller floor dimensions in front of the rear wheels is not negligible and a downforce loss of around 10% is expected.
“Everyone is talking about changing the rules for 2022,” he said.
“But we already have a pretty drastic change for 2021.”
“We’re going to lose a lot of downforce and we’re all going to feel it.”
Mercedes previously revealed that they stopped the development of last year’s F1 W11 car much earlier due to the great advantage they had over rivals, and the last improvement they brought to the Belgian GP at Spa Francorchamps.