FIA didn't believe Mercedes could make DAS work, says Allison

Mercedes Formula 1 technical director James Allison believes that the FIA didn’t expect that the team could make its dual-axis steering system operational and fully legal after the governing body rejected its original idea.

FIA didn't believe Mercedes could make DAS work, says Allison

Mercedes created a stir at Barcelona pre-season testing earlier this year when onboard TV images showed the drivers moving the W11’s steering wheel back and forth, and the front wheels responding.

Rival teams questioned the legality of the novelty the team called dual-axis steering or DAS, but the FIA confirmed that the system had been assessed and approved.

Allison said that the team planned to run DAS in 2019 using a lever system on the steering wheel, but the FIA turned down that arrangement, and suggested that the whole wheel would have to move.

Responding to a question from a fan about how hard it was to make the system work, Allison said that the FIA hadn’t expected the team to succeed.

“The simple answer is it was really quite difficult indeed,” he explained in a Mercedes video. “And in fact we first wanted to introduce this in 2019.

“We took our ideas to the FIA, showed them, explained why we thought it was legal. And they begrudgingly agreed that dual-axis steering was actually legal.

“But they didn’t much like the way we’d done it, because the second axis we were getting from a lever on the wheel, rather than that whole wheel movement.

“And so they said, ‘No, you’re going to have to move the whole wheel in and out.’ And I think when they said that they were hoping that would be too difficult, and we would go away and cause them no more problems.”

Allison says the team was confident that it was still worth devoting resources to solving the problem.

“We have a very inventive chief designer, John Owen, and he took one look at that challenge – he’s got a really good gut feel for whether something is doable or not, and that’s a really helpful characteristic, because it allows us to be quite brave spending money when most people would feel the outcome was quite uncertain.

“John has a good feel for whether he’s going to be able to get out of the woods, and into fair ground again.

“John took that challenge on, reckoned he could do it, put it out to our very talented group of mechanical designers, and between them they cooked up two or three ways in which it might be done.

“We picked the most likely of those three, and about a year after that out popped the DAS system that you saw at the beginning of this season.”

Read Also:

shares
comments
How Sauber twice saved itself from the brink of extinction

Previous article

How Sauber twice saved itself from the brink of extinction

Next article

Horner expects "very different" F1 to be just as "fierce"

Horner expects "very different" F1 to be just as "fierce"
Load comments
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Prime

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. Damien Smith brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1.

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Prime

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus Prime

How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Prime

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Prime

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says Stuart Codling.

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Prime

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Prime

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Prime

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021