Wolff: DAS not a "silver bullet" for Mercedes F1 team

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says it's dual-axis steering (DAS) system isn't a "silver bullet" in terms of performance with its 2020 Formula 1 car

Wolff: DAS not a "silver bullet" for Mercedes F1 team

On Friday, F1 governing body the FIA passed the DAS system as legal following a protest by Red Bull, and the Brackley team is now free to use the device it first debuted in winter testing for the rest of the season.

However, it has been outlawed for 2021 by a regulation change.

Wolff insists the benefits of DAS could not be compared with the clear advantage provided by the double diffuser introduced by his team - under its then identity of Brawn GP - back in 2009, claiming steps in performance now come simply from "marginal gains".

"I think in F1 people are always interested in technical innovation and describing what seems to be a silver bullet, that could potentially be a game changer," said Wolff.

"The last time I saw such a thing was the double diffuser, but since then it's more about the marginal gains, adding performance parts, and in a similar way DAS is a great innovation.

"It adds a new dimension to the steering, and will hopefully over its development period add some performance.

"But today you wouldn't be able to say this has changed the game for us. I don't want to go into the specifics.

"It's great innovation, the idea behind it is fantastic, and I love that fact if it us or another team that comes up with new ideas."

Asked by Autosport if he was pleased that Red Bull chose not to compromise the first grand prix of the season by protesting on Friday - rather than after qualifying or the race - Wolff was keen to compliment his rivals.

"The system is so innovative that is fair enough that clarification is being sought," he said.

"I must say it was fair play from Red Bull to seek that clarification by a protest on Friday and not on Sunday night.

"I think it would have been detrimental for F1 to go back to the first race, have a result on track, then a protest, and it wouldn't be clear who has won.

"I like the sportsmanship of the decision. And it's absolutely OK to protest, I think we would have done it the other way around too.

"I'm happy that the FIA has been very consistent with their verdict.

"We've obviously had a lot of conversations with them, we didn't want to run something that they would deem to be over the line, and therefore the outcome reflects the changes and opinions that we've had with the FIA over the last few months."

shares
comments
Fernando Alonso set to sign with Renault F1 team from 2021 season
Previous article

Fernando Alonso set to sign with Renault F1 team from 2021 season

Next article

Alonso: Renault gives me chance to return to highest level of F1

Alonso: Renault gives me chance to return to highest level of F1
Load comments
The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race Plus

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race

OPINION: Max Verstappen has made the 2021 Formula 1 championship. He’s taken the fight to the all-conquering Mercedes squad and its dominant champion, produced driving displays few can match. But he’s been on a controversial course too, and finally crossed a particular line in Jeddah

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Plus

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Plus

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
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

Formula 1
Dec 3, 2021
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