DAS banned for 2021 as FIA impose "crisis" changes
Mercedes' controversial dual-axis steering (DAS) system has been banned for the 2021 Formula 1 season as the FIA has brought in a number of swiftly adopted changes to the regulations to cope with the coronavirus crisis.
The World Motor Sport Council, operating via e-vote, has approved numerous changes to allow the FIA "to react more swiftly to the challenges currently posed by the global COVID-19 pandemic".
The FIA has confirmed that president Jean Todt, in order to deal with the numerous requests being received with regard to the postponement or cancellation of events across all of its competitions, has been granted a delegation of authority.
This will allow Todt "to take any decisions in connection with the organisation of international competitions for the 2020 season, which may be required as a matter of urgency".
With regard to F1, in particular, changes to the sporting regulations have been approved "in order to give flexibility to the FIA and Formula 1 to react to the crisis and organise a race calendar that best safeguards the commercial value of the championship and contains costs as much as possible".
These changes now involve the FIA and F1 being allowed to change this year's calendar without the need for a vote, while there is also the possibility of extending the three-week shutdown period currently in place for all teams.
The power unit manufacturers - Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda - are also being forced to observe the three-week shutdown period, which includes third-party suppliers.
Such suppliers are not allowed to operate or use any test facility [excluding any service and maintenance activity]; produce or develop PU parts, test parts or tooling; provide sub-assembly or assembly of a PU or its parts; while any work activity by any employee, consultant or sub-contractor engaged in engineering, design, development, production or dyno-testing of a PU is also prohibited.
In anticipation of the number of races dropping considerably below the 22 that were scheduled at the start of the campaign, should there be 14 grand prix or less, each driver may use no more than two of each of the PU elements - engine, MGU-H, MGU-K, turbocharger, energy store and control electronics.
Should there be 11 races or less, each driver may then use no more than two engines, two MGU-H and MGU-K, two turbochargers, but only one energy store and one control electronics.
In addition, the traditional three-day young driver test at the end of a season will now revert to an optional one-day test, while aerodynamic development this year for 2022 has been banned
Notably, the FIA has formally declared that DAS, pioneered by Mercedes for this season, will not be permitted in the 2021 regulations, this is despite this year's chassis due to be used next season.
It follows the decision taken that the much-anticipated sweeping changes to the regulations are now on hold until 2022.
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