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Mercedes is revolutionizing the F1 preseason

Until this Thursday, Formula 1 preseason was being very peaceful. No red flag, no accident or breakdown. Just some minor ring. But this Thursday things have changed. Not so much on the court, where everything went on as it did on Wednesday – except for a red flag provoked by Kimi Räikkönen at 15 minutes by the end of the day – but in the boxes and the paddock. The surprise has jumped when, through the broadcast of the F1 of the preseason tests, the images of a camera have been seen on board of the car of Lewis Hamilton. You could see the British pilot approaching the steering wheel when he was on the straight path and pulling it away during braking. This modified the tilt of the front wheels, making the tire surface in contact with the tarmac decrease on the straight line and increase on the turns.

“We have a new system in the car, it’s a new idea,” said James Allison, Mercedes’ chief technical officer at a midday news conference. “It has a name, it is called DAS [Dual Axis Steering, direcció de doble eix, per les seves sigles en anglès] and enter a dimension behind the wheel that will be useful throughout the year. But how we will use it and why, that’s something we want to keep for ourselves. “Allison, in fact, has not been concerned about the legality of the system that has been discovered in Montmeló. “We have talked to the FIA. The regulations are pretty clear about what is allowed and what is not in the management systems, and we trust that it meets all the requirements, “he said, without wanting to delve into the matter further.” I think I said more or less everything I wanted , so hopefully you will allow me to go no further. Over the next few days we will see what the benefit is. “

Allison said it is “fun” to work for innovations like this. “One of the things I’m proud of working for at Mercedes is being able to be part of a team that every year learns to bring in these innovations. It’s fun, but it’s also the tip of the iceberg. , because every car we bring to the circuit is full of innovations, and the thing is, they are not as obvious as this system, which can be seen with the naked eye, “he said.

Hamilton, for his part, said that after making 106 laps in the Catalan layout in the four hours of the morning (in the afternoon Bottas took over), he was still “trying to understand” the operation of the DAS. “It’s exciting that the team continues to innovate,” he said, just before denying that this was a distraction at the wheel. Whether it is legal or not (Mercedes assured the FIA ​​has said yes) we will only know for sure when the season starts and commissioners, at the time of verification, interpret the new Mercedes system with technical regulations in hand .


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