Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis
Topic

Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

How 'PAS' system shows Ferrari was on to DAS benefits

When Mercedes revealed its DAS system during pre-season testing, many expected its closest rivals to instantly go marching to the FIA to demand the system be banned.

How 'PAS' system shows Ferrari was on to DAS benefits
Listen to this article

But whereas Red Bull has made clear it intends to protest Mercedes when racing action resumes, Ferrari has been far more sanguine about the affair – and indeed the team suggested it had looked at and rejected the DAS idea in the past.

Some questioned whether Ferrari was simply covering its back by those comments, but investigative work has now uncovered why the Italian outfit has not been so alarmed: because it has been running a system that mimics much of the benefits of DAS since the middle of last year.

In fact, as Motorsport.com can reveal, the concept – codenamed PAS (Power Assisted Steering) by insiders – has been so solid that it has been taken by Haas for its 2020 VF-20 car.

While PAS is not as advanced as DAS, it was this type of system that Mercedes first began running from the start of 2019 and became the precursor to what it has developed for this year.

The W10's power steering arrangement was equipped with a double rack and pinion setu-p, creating a variable Ackermann system that made it possible to make one wheel steer independently of the other, depending on the given steering input.

In hindsight, the W10 seemed particularly agile and reactive in slow corners when compared with its predecessors, which was clearly a response to its new steering system.

This not only improved agility but also helped to keep the tyres in their optimum working range, lessening wear and improving performance.

Ferrari, having understood Mercedes concept relatively early on, decided to develop its own system, adopting PAS from the French GP onwards.

As it meant a larger, heavier and more complicated steering unit, there must have been more than one benefit to cancel out any drawbacks.

Having the ability to vary the Ackermann angle depending on the corner's profile can have some interesting aerodynamic implications.

Given that the shape of the wake turbulence created by each wheel and tyre will also be altered according to path they draw, this could perhaps result in a similar wake profile across the board, allowing the overall aerodynamic map of the car to be tuned to increase downforce.

The timeline of the arrival of these variable Ackermann solutions shows how the introduction of DAS is an expansion of the original concept, allowing the driver to realign the steered wheels for the straights and eliminating any tyre scrub and/or drag that may occur when running even more aggressive Ackermann angles.

That Ferrari has made PAS available to Haas, proves that there must be good competitive benefits from it, and that the Italian outfit is fully comfortable with what it has produced.

DAS however, will have a limited shelf life, as Mercedes has agreed to uphold its ban in 2021 even though it's likely that the chassis will have to be carried over from 2020.

This will come as a relief to many in the paddock who fear an escalation in costs will be detrimental to the sport in the wake of the impact caused by the coronavirus.

Haas F1 Team VF-20 front detail
Haas F1 Team VF-20 front detail
1/6
Haas planned to use the 'PAS' system for 2020, with the steering assembly seen mounted to the VF-20 during testing

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Ferrari SF1000 front suspension
Ferrari SF1000 front suspension
2/6
Ferrari's 2020 challenger, the SF1000, has been fitted with its 'PAS' system from the get-go.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Haas F1 Team VF-20 front detail
Haas F1 Team VF-20 front detail
3/6
The Alfa Romeo C39 fitted with a more conventional steering assembly.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Ferrari SF90 front detail
Ferrari SF90 front detail
4/6
Ferrari introduced its 'PAS' system at the French GP, the two different versions of its steering assembly that can be seen here alongside the chassis for comparison.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes AMG F1 W11 power steering DAS
Mercedes AMG F1 W11 power steering DAS
5/6
Mercedes W11 with its DAS system in view, which is a secondary layer of complexity to the variable Ackermann system, allowing the drivers to realign the front wheels on the straights.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes W09 front suspension
Mercedes W09 front suspension
6/6
Mercedes' more conventional steering assembly was last seen here on their 2018 challenger, the W09.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

shares
comments
Gallery: All 91 of Michael Schumacher's F1 wins
Previous article

Gallery: All 91 of Michael Schumacher's F1 wins

Next article

Silverstone sets deadline for British GP decision

Silverstone sets deadline for British GP decision
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Prime

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Motorsport.com in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Prime

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second-best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot.

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Prime

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022