Throughout the 1st and 2nd day of Formula One’s 2020 Barcelona Testing, the Mercedes AMG-Petronas team has received considerable backlash from their fellow competitors. The first day of testing saw Racing Point, who are under a manufacturing contract with Mercedes, have an identical to the 2019 Champion-Winner W10. Mercedes didn’t stop there with finding loopholes in legislation, with their 2020 AMG-Petronas W11 supporting a new steering system.
Competing F1 Outfits were shocked when they saw Lewis Hamilton position his steering wheel backwards and then forwards. They knew immediately this was a hidden feature for the newly formed W11, with engineers determining what this steering wheel feature accomplishes. Analyzing the video evidence revealed that the pitch-to-toe of Mercedes’s W11 would change positively.
F1 Teams like Ferrari, Red Bull and Hass opposed Mercedes latest feature. Team managers expressed that maintaining a steering wheel system that allows for pitched-toe to be altered on-track will assist Mercedes in several substantial ways. This would include reduced drag on the streets, reductions in tyre wear and increased handling for corners. It’d also allow for greater downforce for Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton. These drivers will also receive additional benefits with reductions in oversteering, high-speed stabilities and steadying the car in lengthy corners. This puts all other F1 Teams to an immediate disadvantage starting on March 15th.
The Formula International Association allowed for the Dual-AXIS Steering System to be approved, meaning Mercedes AMG-Petronas is cleared to maintain this feature throughout the 2020 F1 Season. The confirmation for DAS was provided through James Allison, the Technical Chief Director with Mercedes. When questioned if this feature was a surprise for the FIA, James noted that they’d contacted legislators months ago regarding their steering system. Directors with Mercedes – Formula One knew that it’d be approved following Barcelona Testing.
Racing engineers were in continuous contact with FIA associates, ensuring that this new system would follow the permitted guidelines listed for the 2020 Season. James Alison mentioned that all required categories had been filled, allowing for the new mechanics to receive a fast-tracked approval. The Technical Director expressed that Dual-Axis Steering enables for Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton to have an added level of driving capabilities. He expects it’ll be the defining feature that allows Mercedes to outpace Red Bull and Ferrari. Motorsport Analysts believe that engineering staff with the other F1 outfits have begun deconstructing the Dual-Axis Steering System, hoping to replicate it for the 2021 Formula One Season.