Hamilton rejects “DAS 2” theories on steering wheel movement
Rival Red Bull was intrigued by how the rear of the Mercedes lowers at high speed, to help wedge the diffuser and reduce downforce and drag.
The Milton Keynes-based team believe this behavior has been essential in advancing the straight-line speed of the Mercedes in recent races.
Amid part of the in-depth examination of Mercedes’ rear fenders at the Brazilian Grand Prix, with Max Verstappen highlighted when he touched Hamilton’s car in the parc fermé, the situation took a new turn when A video emerged of the strange behavior of the W12 car from an on-board camera.
The video, taken at the start of the weekend, appeared to show Hamilton pulling on his steering wheel as it approached the first corner.
This sparked theories that Hamilton could use a new form of “DAS” to potentially alter the car’s ride height.
In 2020, Mercedes legally used DAS to adjust the toe angle of its front wheels, which helped it manage tire temperatures better and even reduce drag on the straights. This was done by the drivers pushing and pulling the wheel.
However, in an effort to avoid an all-out spending war of teams that need to follow Mercedes’ lead, it was agreed that front-wheel-related DAS would be banned for this season.
Speaking ahead of the Qatar Grand Prix, however, Hamilton made it clear that Mercedes is not playing with some sort of “DAS 2” system.
Instead, he explained that what was seen in the onboard footage was just extra play in the steering column, which he didn’t really like and had changed.
“My steering column doesn’t move back and forth, it just moves [left and right], “he said.” We had it last year, we don’t have it now.
“On Saturday I think there was a bit of play, but it’s probably less than a millimeter, which I don’t like and then there was no play. So not really sure about that. that you watch.
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes at a press conference
Photo By: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images
The new rules introduced for this year stipulated that the angle of the front wheel could only be adjusted by a steering wheel that turned left and right.
This meant that Mercedes design actions, which changed the toe angle by drivers pushing and pulling on the wheel, were no longer allowed.
A new article 10.4.2 of the revised 2021 Technical Regulations stated: “The realignment of the steered wheels shall be uniquely defined by a monotonic function of the rotation of a single flywheel around a single axis.
“In addition, the interior mounting points of the suspension elements connected to the steering system must remain at a fixed distance from each other and can only move in the direction normal to the central plane of the car.”