Fernando Alonso believes that Mercedes created their controversial new DAS (Dual Axis Steering) system in order to warn other teams that they are still innovating despite winning six championships in a row.
In the V6 turbo hybrid engine era, Mercedes have dominated Formula 1, winning every constructors’ championship since 2014, with Lewis Hamilton winning five drivers’ titles in that time, too.
They go into 2020 looking for their seventh, and Alonso reckons DAS is their way of showing that they are still the team to beat.
"Only they know for sure what it is doing to the car and what are the benefits that they are taking from that," the two-time world champion told Sky Sports.
"But I guess that it's not a big, big factor. It's not like the DRS or the F-duct or something that gives you half a second or six tenths or four tenths.
"I think it's just a fine-tuning set-up [device]. It's more the potential and the demonstration that they give to everyone that they keep on top of the game and they don't relax, even if they are world champions.
"That's probably the biggest message that they send with this DAS system."
On Tuesday, Alonso announced that he would be returning to McLaren for the Indy 500 race as he continues his pursuit of the motorsport Triple Crown.
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.