Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto says it would be ‘mid-season’ before the dual-axis steering system DAS could be introduced on their SF1000.
Ferrari were just as surprised as everyone else in the F1 paddock on Thursday, when Mercedes were found to be running a new steering system called ‘DAS’ on their W11. The system allows for the drivers to alter the toe angle of their cars while driving, by pulling back on the steering wheel.
With the system appearing to be completely legal, as the FIA confirmed that Mercedes had discussed the development with them while penning the design more than a year ago, the benefits of running the system are yet to be fully discovered. Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto was asked about what he thought about the system, and whether the Italian team are already in a race to catch up on the technology front.
“I think first we need to understand how it works and what exactly is the performance benefit, as I don’t think at the moment we have any idea.” Binotto admitted. “But we will look into it and look into whether it is worth developing or not.”
However, it’s not a development that’s quick and easy to fit onto the car, with Binotto saying it could be months before Ferrari have the system – if they decide to go for it at all.
“I have no idea now if it’s worthwhile or not, but it’s certainly longer than that. It’s an entire design concept which requires homologation, it needs to be safe. If it was to happen, it would be mid-season.” Binotto said.
Prior to the reveal of the DAS system, Formula 1’s Ross Brawn already confirmed that rules are in place for 2021 that will allow for regulation loopholes that are ‘outside the spirit of the regulations’ to be shut down immediately. Added to this, the DAS system is actually illegal under the already published 2021 technical regulations, but there’s nothing to stop Mercedes from running the system throughout 2020 unless a team can find valid grounds to protest it.
Binotto says that it’s important for F1 to be able to continue to innovate under such strict technical rules, while also keeping in mind that breaking the ‘spirit of what’s intended’ is a further restriction: “Innovation is always part of F1 – DAS isn’t the only one, there’s lots of innovations across other cars and our cars and maybe not always so visible, but we all believe that the freedom of innovation is an important part of F1. But the regulations are there, and there to make sure innovations are done within the boundaries of the regulations. With the rules now in place for 2021, I think it’s an argument based on principle and make it in the best interests of the show and for F1.”
“We trust the FIA with this and that they make the right decision and we completely trust with what they judge.”