Hamilton dismisses ‘DAS 2’ theories over steering wheel movement

Lewis Hamilton has dismissed wild theories that his Mercedes Formula 1 team is running a secret ‘DAS 2’ system to help adjust its ride-height.

Hamilton dismisses ‘DAS 2’ theories over steering wheel movement

Rival Red Bull has been intrigued by the way in which the rear of the Mercedes drops down at high speed, to help stall the diffuser and reduce downforce and drag.

The Milton Keynes-based outfit thinks that this behaviour has been critical to a step forward in the straightline speed of the Mercedes over the past few races.

Amid part of the extra scrutiny on Mercedes’ rear wings at the Brazilian Grand Prix, with Max Verstappen highlighted when he touched Hamilton’s car in parc ferme, the situation took a fresh twist when video emerged of a strange car behaviour of the W12 from an on-board camera.

The video, taken in the early part of the weekend, appeared to show Hamilton pulling back on his steering wheel on the approach to the first corner.

This prompted theories that Hamilton could be using some new form of ‘DAS’ to potentially alter the car’s ride height.

In 2020, Mercedes used DAS legally to adjust the toe angle of its front wheels, which helped it better manage tyre temperatures and even reduce drag on the straights. This was done by the drivers pushing and pulling on the wheel.

However, in a bid to prevent an all-out spending war of teams needing to follow the Mercedes example, it was agreed that DAS linked to the front wheels would be banned for this season.

Speaking ahead of the Qatar Grand Prix, however, Hamilton made it clear that Mercedes was not playing around with some kind of ‘DAS 2’ system.

Instead, he explained that what was seen on the onboard footage was simply some extra play in the steering column, which he actually did not like and got changed.

“My steering column doesn’t move forwards and backwards, it just moves [left and right],” he said. “We had that last year, we don’t have it now.

“On Saturday, I think there was a little bit of play in it, but it’s like less than a millimetre probably, that I don’t like and then there was no play. So not really sure what you’re watching.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes in the press conference

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes in the press conference

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

The new rules introduced for this year stated that the angle of the front wheel could only be adjusted by a steering wheel that turned left and right.

This meant the actions of the Mercedes design, which changed the toe angle through the drivers pushing and pulling on the wheel, were no longer allowed.

Read Also:

A new Article 10.4.2 of the revised 2021 Technical Regulations, stated: "The re-alignment of the steered wheels must be uniquely defined by a monotonic function of the rotation of a single steering wheel about a single axis.

"Furthermore, the inboard attachment points of the suspensions members connected to the steering system must remain a fixed distance from each other and can only translate in the direction normal to the car centre plane."

shares
comments

Related video

The benefits resulting from F1’s growing Middle Eastern influence
Previous article

The benefits resulting from F1’s growing Middle Eastern influence

Next article

F1 Qatar GP live commentary and updates - FP1 & FP2

F1 Qatar GP live commentary and updates - FP1 & FP2
Load comments
How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes Plus

How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Plus

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated Plus

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated

Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next
 world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2021
The downside to F1's show and tell proposal Plus

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal

Technology lies at the heart of the F1 story and it fascinates fans, which is why the commercial rights holder plans to compel teams to show more of their ‘secrets’. STUART CODLING fears this will encourage techno-quackery…

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2021
How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits Plus

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Plus

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at
 Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as BEN ANDERSON discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021