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Mercedes: DAS 'actually raced on the car a couple of years ago'

Mercedes: DAS 'actually raced on the car a couple of years ago'

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Mercedes: DAS 'actually raced on the car a couple of years ago'

Mercedes: DAS 'actually raced on the car a couple of years ago'

A clip of Lewis Hamilton qualifying at the 2018 Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix went viral in March.

It appeared to show Mercedes using their 'new' Dual-Axis Steering [DAS] system, but was this DAS in action or an optical illusion caused by rain on the camera? Mercedes have now hinted it could have been the former.

READ MORE: Dual-Axis Steering (DAS) - what is it, and why is it controversial?

In the first of a new series unveiled by Mercedes team on Wednesday, entitled 'Deep Dive', chief designer John Owen revealed that DAS had been in development for several years.

More interestingly he admitted the innovation had been used during a race at some point in 2018.

“Innovation, there are almost no new ideas, there are only old ideas, but there are different collections of ideas that make a new concept of something different,” said Owen.

“And so the DAS system was born out of the ashes of something else, something that we tried, something we’d actually raced on the car a couple of years ago, that sort of worked but didn’t really deliver all the promise that we had in it.

Although F1 teams have committed to running the same cars in 2021 as in the current season - a measure agreed upon to reduce costs given the current global crisis - a regulation change has outlawed DAS for next year.

This means that however effective DAS proves to be during 2020, Mercedes will be forced to remove the system for 2021.

READ MORE: Dual-Axis Steering (DAS) - what is it, and why is it controversial?

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