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Innovative new steering system legal say Mercedes

Innovative new steering system legal say Mercedes

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Innovative new steering system legal say Mercedes

Innovative new steering system legal say Mercedes

Mercedes technical director James Allison is confident the Formula 1 team's new innovative steering wheel system will be deemed legal by the FIA.

Onboard footage during the second morning of pre-season testing at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya showed the steering column moving in and out on occasion under Hamilton's direction.

Along the track's lengthy straight, Hamilton would pull back on the column before pushing it back in again shortly before turning the car into the first corner.

It is understood the effect helps 'straighten' the tyres as ordinarily on an F1 car they point marginally outwards to assist with load at the rear in corners. The tyres are then apparently heated across their full width, which would be of particular benefit on circuits with lengthy straights.

While Allison refused to confirm the benefits of what the team has called DAS - dual-axis steering - he confirmed the FIA has been made fully aware of the project.

"We have a system in the car, it's a novel idea," said Allison. "It introduces an extra dimension to the steering for the driver that we hope will be useful throughout the year.

"But precisely how we use it, that's something we'd prefer to keep to ourselves."

Asked whether he was concerned the FIA would clamp down on the device, he replied: "No, not really.

"This isn't news to the FIA. It's something we've been talking to them about for some time. The rules are pretty clear about what's permitted on steering systems.

"I'm pretty confident that it matches all of those requirements.

"I'm just pleased we've got it on the car, it seems to be useable, and we'll find out over the coming days how much benefit it brings us."

Hamilton stated the team at present is "trying to get on top of it, trying to understand it".

He added: "Safety-wise it was no problem. The FIA has okayed the project.

"For me, it's really encouraging to see that my team is continuing to innovate and stay ahead of the game, and that's down to the great minds we have working with this team, and they all work to our benefit."

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