Mattia Binotto, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

Binotto: Not possible for Ferrari to copy Mercedes’ DAS before mid-season

2020 F1 season

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Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has ruled out the team introducing its own version of Mercedes’ Dual Axis Steering early in the season.

[f1tv2020testa]The DAS system was spotted on Mercedes’ W11 yesterday, prompting speculation they have stolen a march on rival teams with the device which allows its drivers to adjust the toe angle of the front wheels.

Binotto said the complexity of the system and potential safety implication meant there was no chance Ferrari could introduce a similar system in time for the first race of the year in three weeks’ time.

“I have no idea if it would be worthwhile or not,” he said, “but it’s certainly longer than that. It’s an entire concept design, producing homologation, just to be safe. So if it is, I think it can be like mid-season not earlier.”

He stressed the team “trust fully the FIA” to ensure the safety of the device, which Mercedes’ drivers operate by sliding the steering wheel back and forth along the steering column.

Ferrari had not considered a similar system before the Mercedes device was discovered, Binotto added, but will evaluate whether there is an advantage to be gained from it.

“I think we need to first obviously understand how it works and understand what would be the performance benefit. I don’t think that at the moment we’ve got any idea. But we will look into it, no doubt, and [whether] developing applications is worthwhile or not.”

However McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl indicated that creating DAS is not a priority for them.

“First of all, hats off to Mercedes for this kind of invention. It’s great to see in Formula 1. And also for all the publicity they created for Mercedes by that.

“I don’t know details about the system so I think it would be wrong to even judge it, what it brings and so on. For our side, because the next question is if we try to copy it, I think for us as a team where we are right now, there are other areas we have to focus on where we can make bigger steps than trying to put a system from Mercedes.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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23 comments on “Binotto: Not possible for Ferrari to copy Mercedes’ DAS before mid-season”

  1. Why do I get the feeling he sounds beaten? Not merely because of Mercedes’s innovation, just in general? (Although I also know the jubilation after last year’s first test counted for nothing in the end).

  2. I’m still very surprised everyone is so open about it and bringing conclusions this early!

    1. Sort of suggest few are going to put too much effort into it, knowing it is banned for next year @fer-no65

      1. Why would it be banned for next year?

        I am personally big fan of anything dynamic on the car, (adjustable on the fly) as its a great way to make the car more efficient (DRS is nonsense but id like the teams to have the ability to decrease downforce on straights and increase in turns whenever they please and however they please)
        so i love DAS :)
        Having the cars pushing into the road with almost 2 tons when they are going in a stragiht line just seems ancient and silly

        1. Because the new regulations for next year more tightly define what may comprise a steering system.
          And this breaches them.

          1. Thanks for clarifying that. I suppose that means that even if it is deemed legal by the Stewards at the Melbourne GP most teams won’t be diverting resources from next year’s car to build this. After all, most teams wouldn’t consider Mercedes as a close competitor, so what does it matter if Mercedes lap a circuit even quicker than them than before? As long as their neighbouring competitors aren’t involved with it then they won’t either.

        2. I completely agree with you. I’d love to see cars that are constantly morphing as they race around the track. Everything including the driver’s helmet should adjust on the fly if it gains performance. Maximize speed, g-forces and human endurance.

          1. @Nigel I didnt know that and makes me sad…
            @James Exactly right? Static non dynamic features are just so last century… Why would we compromise braking performance for mid corner contact patch (camber) if we can adjust it to the situation? I do agree with the “driver operated”, but that IS the case with DAS so why not allow lot more like that.. I think that should be the way to go…

          2. that does nothing for racing, I want to see racing, more then just the first lap. This is what F1 struggles with, continues to struggle, is changing the rules for next year because of. Boring is boring, have all the innovation you want but if we don’t have races past the first lap then F1 will struggle to hold fans, and they know this.

          3. @mpm F1 will always (thanks god for that) continue to be peak of engineering and peak of what is possible for a safe track focused car. If you want great racing, go Moto GP or Spec miata, F1 defo needs to offer great racing (which it has not been lately altho 2019 season was pretty damn good) but saying “that does nothing to the racing” is an invalid point to me. I want to see better racing in F1 but i also want to see technological advancement. And if making the cars more dynamic will do “nothing to the racing” aka will not harm the racing, but it will technologically advance them, id love to see it. (yes im aware of costs issue, but partially standardizing parts in the spirit of 2021 rules might be the way to negotiate that)

  3. Just like F-duct.

    Brilliant simple design, that is hard to copy. If this gives Mercedes 0.3 seconds per lap, that is ample enough for them to win the title.

    They are that good.

    1. That would be an ode for today, thank you.

    2. Brilliant yes, simple design no. Merc has been working on it a year.

  4. I’ve seen both here and other F1 sites that DAS affects Toe Angle. I think it’s Camber that changes. Toe angle is the angle between the tires when viewed from above. Toe in is the tires pointed towards each other, Toe out is the tires pointed away from each other. Camber is the angle of the tires with respect to the ground when viewed from the front or rear. Negative camber has the outside of the tire higher than the inside, and positive camber has the outside of the tire lower than the inside. Negative camber is good for cornering, because the lateral load and subsequent body roll will put the outside tire in a flat position on the track.
    Am I missing something here?

    1. Nevermind, I’ve got it wrong. Nothing to see here, move along.

    2. The F1 site has an analysis that calls it toe but describes it as the lean of the tire (not the edge) “outward,” which doesn’t make sense. Toe is not the lean of the tire.
      Neither camber nor toe would be “outward” anyway. I was also confused.

  5. I couldn’t help it, picture caption popped into my head
    “Why can’t I have a pushy pulley steering wheel!”

  6. I wonder what the experts from this forum have to say to Newey’s dislike of the new system…Surely not in your favour, boys.

    1. @pironitheprovocateur Remind us who has been winning titles the last few years, Red Bull or Mercedes?

    2. @pironitheprovocateur being the chief designer of one of Mercedes’s strongest rivals, Newey isn’t a neutral observer.

      On the contrary, he has an extremely strong vested interest in having such a system being declared illegal, given that it is likely that it would take months for Red Bull to implement such a system on their car, whilst at the same time having it declared illegal could cause considerable disruption to Mercedes. Bearing that in mind, you have to take his criticisms with something of a pinch of salt – it’s actively in his interests to stir up as much controversy as possible.

  7. I keep feeling this whole DAS deal is just a trimming tool rather than a racing component.

    If is legal to race, wondering how can it bend also Parc ferme rules

  8. I suspect das fixes a specifically Merc problem with front tyre temps, in which case its pointless the other teams copying.

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