During the test in Barcelona, Mercedes surprised everyone with an interesting technology trick on the steering wheel.
Has Mercedes found again the next Philosopher’s Stone? In Barcelona there is a lot of excitement about a new technology trick on the silver arrows.
Background: For the first time, F1 TV broadcasts the test live – and today it showed a cockpit photo by Lewis Hamilton. It shows clearly how Hamilton pulls the steering wheel on the straight line – and adjusts the front wheels with it. In front of the bends, he pushes the steering wheel back to the starting position.
Like a flying pilot! Hamilton: “In terms of security, it’s not a problem. I‘m thrilled that my team is always looking for technical innovations. ”
The assumption: Mercedes can obviously change the toe-in. The advantage: The tire cools down in normal position on the long straights. The further inside it stands, the more it warms up. Mercedes might have found a way to keep the tire temperature constant. That would be a real technology coup!
Technician Craig Scarborough explains the mechanism on Twitter as follows: The rack and steering wheel are connected so that the driver can adjust the track of the wheels when he pulls the steering wheel towards him. In any case, the wheels are closer together on the straight. Also striking: Hamilton only pulls the steering wheel when the word “marker” appears on his display. It is quite possible that the instruction comes depending on the tire temperature.
Is it legal? Articles 10.2.2 and 10.2.3 clearly state that any device is prohibited that influences the configuration of the suspension. Overall, it‘s not allowed to change the suspension while driving. The question remains: does Mercedes manipulate the suspension while steering? With the latter, the driver can change the position of the front wheels. Still, it’s a gray area.
So far, paddock insiders already leaked that the FIA had allowed the system.
When asked by Sky Sport, the team said that the technology was only used for test purposes. Mercedes technical manager James Allison reveals: “It is a new system. We call it DAS (stands for Dual Axis Steering). It opens up additional possibilities for us and creates a new dimension in steering. It will benefit drivers over the season. ”
Allison counters critics: “The FIA knows. In my opinion, the rules are very clear when it comes to the steering wheel and I don’t think we’re violating it. ”
But that’s not all. The rear suspension of the Silver Arrow is also special. Parts are positioned so that the air has plenty of space to flow past the inside of the rear wheel. As a result, the flow seals the rear underbody – and increases the suction effect of the diffuser.
The test season is just two days old – and Mercedes is once again ahead!