Mercedes urges caution on Red Bull's timing of potential DAS protest at F1 opener

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has urged Red Bull to be 'sensitive' to the dangers of overshadowing Formula 1's opener with a potential protest against his team's dual-axis steering (DAS)

Mercedes urges caution on Red Bull's timing of potential DAS protest at F1 opener

With Red Bull poised to seek clarification about the legality of the innovative Mercedes device at the Austrian Grand Prix, which could go as far as a formal protest, Wolff is mindful about the risk of F1's first race back getting bogged down on Sunday night.

Asked if he was worried that what should be a celebration of F1's comeback could turn sour, Wolff said: "All teams are pretty much aware that we are in a sensitive situation with going racing. It's the first race, and I think on one side, it's fair enough to seek clarification, [but] on the other side we are aware that we don't want to end up with a big debate on Sunday.

"I think Christian [Horner, Red Bull boss] is going to take the right actions. Controversy and different judgement on engineering innovation has always been a part of Formula 1, and this is what's to be expected in a way and it's part of the risk."

PLUS: Mercedes' DAS - what is it, how does it work, and is it legal?

Red Bull had indicated before the original season opener in Australia that it would protest the DAS system, which allows Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas to adjust the toe angle of their front wheels through pushing and pulling the steering wheel.

Horner said on Friday that questions his team had on the legality of the device had not been fully answered yet.

"It's a very clever system," he explained. "All credit to the ingenuity behind it, but I think the fundamental question for us is, you know, does it comply with the regulations in what is a fundamentally grey area?

"Obviously we do want clarity on it, because it does have an impact regarding the rest of this year. It's something that's been outlawed for next year. But the question is, is it right for this year? So these are the questions that we'll be asking of the FIA through the necessary channels."

Wolff added that Mercedes felt comfortable with the legality of DAS and was ready to fight its corner if there was a formal protest.

"I respect Christian's position," he said. "Clarification is always good. We think we are on the right side. There was a lot of talking and exchange with the FIA. That is the reason why we have it on the car, so we will both bring our arguments forward and then let's see."

shares
comments
Wolff: Mercedes continuing to monitor FIA/Ferrari engine settlement saga

Previous article

Wolff: Mercedes continuing to monitor FIA/Ferrari engine settlement saga

Next article

Binotto: Vettel not fully happy with Ferrari drop decision for F1 '21

Binotto: Vettel not fully happy with Ferrari drop decision for F1 '21
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Red Bull Racing , Mercedes
Author Jonathan Noble
What Ferrari must do to reach the peak in F1 again Plus

What Ferrari must do to reach the peak in F1 again

Former Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren engineer Rodi Basso on what he’s learned about successful teams, and what the famous Italian squad needs to do to get back on top in Formula 1

The defining traits that set F1’s best apart Plus

The defining traits that set F1’s best apart

What makes the very best drivers in Formula 1 stand out among what is already a highly elite bunch? ANDREW BENSON takes a closer look at those with the special blend of skill, judgment, feel 
and attitude that sets only a select 
few apart from the rest.

Formula 1
Mar 7, 2021
How an unlikely F1 outsider gained acceptance Plus

How an unlikely F1 outsider gained acceptance

Channel 4's decision to pick Steve Jones as presenter of its Formula 1 coverage in 2016 raised eyebrows, and his presenting style grated with many fans at first. But, says BEN EDWARDS, Jones has developed into a presenter ripe for modern F1's direction

Formula 1
Mar 6, 2021
The updates Williams hopes will lead to a points-scoring return Plus

The updates Williams hopes will lead to a points-scoring return

After producing a car which demonstrated progress but lacked the points to prove it last year, Williams starts its new era of team ownership with the FW43B, its bid to continue the climb up the Formula 1 grid in 2021

Formula 1
Mar 5, 2021
How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare Plus

How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare

The 2020 Formula 1 season was Ferrari's worst for 40 years as it slumped to sixth in the standings. A repeat performance will not be acceptable for the proud Italian team, which has adopted a notably pragmatic approach to forging its path back to the top

Formula 1
Mar 4, 2021
Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery Plus

Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery

In the most eagerly anticipated Formula 1 team launch of the season, the rebranded Aston Martin squad’s changes go much further than the striking paint job. But rather than a restart, the team hopes to build on top of solid foundations.

Formula 1
Mar 3, 2021
The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with Plus

The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with

The team formerly known as Racing Point gambled successfully on a Mercedes look-alike in 2020 as it mounted a strong challenge for third in the constructors' race and won the Sakhir GP. Now clothed in British racing green, Aston Martin's first Formula 1 challenger since 1960 provides the clearest indicator yet of what to expect from the new-for-2021 regulations

Formula 1
Mar 3, 2021
The driver problems facing Mercedes in 2021 Plus

The driver problems facing Mercedes in 2021

Ahead of the new Formula 1 season, reigning world champions Mercedes will take on challenges both old and new. This also can be said for its driver conundrum which could become key to sustaining its ongoing success

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021