Mercedes steering rack, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

DAS shows need for F1 to close rules loopholes quickly – Horner

2020 F1 season

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Formula 1’s plan to stop teams exploiting loopholes in the rules is needed, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has said.

Changes to F1’s governing process next year will allow the sport to respond immediately to teams introducing innovations which threaten to damage the competition. Mercedes’ Dual Axis Steering system shows the change is necessary, Horner told RaceFans.

“I think so, because I think the problem is, if you take DAS for example, it’s an innovative and clever system, there are arguments to and for, you can probably argue it both ways. The consequence of it is that inevitably it will drive costs for the teams that choose to exploit that kind of technology.”

Several teams have already ruled out developing their own versions of DAS because of the cost and complexity involved.

Horner believes the 2021 rules change will not discourage teams from developing their cars. “I think so long as it’s done responsibly, that’s fine.

“The problem we’ve got is the regulations are quite complex and not particularly transparent in the way that they are written. And of course, it all comes down to interpretation, which is often quite difficult.”

[smr2020test]However he suspects the new rules will not necessarily stop teams developing innovations such as DAS, even if the potential benefit from it is reduced.

“It depends what performance it yields,” said Horner. “So you may well develop something for even a 12 month period if it has benefit.

“Or whatever period of time you can get away with it. It’s like F-ducts, it’s like double diffusers, it’s like whatever suspension systems that used to be on the car, all those things.”

Horner doesn’t see the coming change in the rules as a threat to innovation in the sport. “I think innovation has to be a fundamental part of Formula 1,” he said.

“I mean, here we are talking about the DAS system, it’s very clever, some bright engineers have come up with it, and I think innovation is absolutely part of Formula 1.”

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60 comments on “DAS shows need for F1 to close rules loopholes quickly – Horner”

  1. If Horner wants to stop innovation then he should propose that F1 becomes a spec series. It’s a pointless and expensive exercise for F1 teams to design and produce 10 cars which are micro managed into being almost identical versions of each other.

    1. ColdFly (@)
      6th March 2020, 8:52

      Did you read the article (to the end)?
      I’ll repeat two of Horner’s quotes:

      “I think innovation has to be a fundamental part of Formula 1,”

      “I mean, here we are talking about the DAS system, it’s very clever, some bright engineers have come up with it, and I think innovation is absolutely part of Formula 1.”

      1. But at the same time, he’s quoted as saying that DAS proves that loopholes need closing quickly.

        I don’t think he can have it both ways. You either allow of innovation or you don’t. I don’t think you can say this innovation is fine, and this one isn’t.

        If it’s within the rules then great, bravo, well done for thinking outside of the box. For me, it’s incumbent on the sport to have a cast iron set of rules and those rules stand for the season. If you get ahead of the curve you should get the benefit of that thinking. If you cheat you should be appropriately punished.

        Let’s face it, Brawn GP almost certainly wouldn’t have won a championship under the proposed closing of loopholes a race later.

        The spending cap should limit (in theory) the spending race – unless of course the rule on that have been worded in typical F1 fashion and are open to interpretation!

        1. @muzza

          I don’t think you can say this innovation is fine, and this one isn’t.

          That’s exactly what he’s saying. He’s an F1 team principal – he wants any innovation *his* team bring to the fight to be legal and rivals innovations to be banned.

          If one were being cynical, he wants the FIA to rigorously ban/enforce mechanical and power-unit innovation whilst freeing up the aero-regulations for unlimited exploitation. I can’t imagine why I would think that though…

          1. LOL – indeed it’s not like he has form for this sort of political shenanigans…

        2. @muzza
          It’s not black and white.
          Yes, there should be room for innovation, but not at all cost. Some of them are just ridiculously expensive and that’s where the problems begin. Teams which haven’t got a big enough budget, simply can’t afford them and thus are at a technical disadvantage. Unless all teams operate on a similar budget, there can’t be full freedom on the technical side.

          At the same time politics in F1 are a big problem.
          It’s no coincidence RB and Ferrari want the DAS banned already for this season. Even if they could copy it, they would loose time and money on it. So it’s better to try to get it banned. They don’t really care if it’s within the rules or not.
          But it’s not just the big teams that are doing this. I remember in 2011 Williams wanted the blown diffuser to get banned, because Cosworth hasn’t/couldn’t develop it.

          Last year I watched an interview with the former technical director of BAR/Honda/Brawn/BMW/Sauber Jörg Zander, where he talked about a hydraulic system BAR had developed in 2004, which improved the braking/shortened the braking distance of the car. It was relatively cheap (R&D + production costed about 300,000 €) and it was worth between 0.4-0.7 sec.
          The FIA banned it for the following season because of “cost-cutting reasons”.

          1. @srga91

            Yes, there should be room for innovation, but not at all cost. Some of them are just ridiculously expensive and that’s where the problems begin. Teams which haven’t got a big enough budget, simply can’t afford them and thus are at a technical disadvantage. Unless all teams operate on a similar budget, there can’t be full freedom on the technical side.

            Yep and hopefully the spending cap sorts that out. Time will tell.

        3. ColdFly (@)
          6th March 2020, 12:59

          But at the same time, he’s quoted as saying that DAS proves that loopholes need closing quickly.

          That’s the title, but he is not quoted saying that, @muzza.
          We don’t even know what the specific question was when he started his sentence with “I think so”.

          What I read from his quotes is that the FIA needs to have the tools to act quickly to close loopholes to make sure not a lot of money is spent in vain. As technical rule setter FIA should be in charge and have the tools.
          Only a small part of innovation is exploiting loopholes (or even cheating). I agree with Horner that the FIA should rule clearly and firmly in which direction innovation is beneficial, and in which direction teams should not spend/waste money. DAS could be in either category, although FIA has already ruled it an unwanted innovation in their 2021 rules.

          1. @coldfly – appreciate context of a quote or what led to the quote being given can be hard to discern.

            However, I do think that if a spending cap is in place this shouldn’t be an issue. I don’t necessarily think it’s up to FIA/Liberty to say you may have budget but you shouldn’t be spending it on x, y or z in terms of where your R&D priorities should lie. And Tech regs for me could be a lot simpler. I think the innovation is a key attracter for me.

            Realistically though, the sport only has itself to blame, teams will always spend everything they have as it’s in their DNA to win whatever the cost.

            My fear is there are probably lots of loopholes in the budget cap regs so we’ll see lots of “innovative” accounting…

          2. At the end of the day, the FIA needs to do what they have done with DAS – rule that the the item is impermissible from the following season. That way rivals know they don’t need to spend unless they choose to and the team(s) that have the technology know that there’s no point refining it beyond what is necessary in the current year.

            Devices & developments being banned when not explicitly in violation of the rules (i.e. Renault’s braking tech) would just continue to set bad precedents, like when the FIA groundlessly banned mass dampers mid-2006 and really harmed Renault.

            Going back to DAS, it seems like Mercedes approached the governing body early in their car design process, explained what they were doing and the FIA told them ‘it’s fine under the current rules’, before quickly amending next years rules to forbid it, as they’re entitled to do.

          3. @muzza We know there is already innovative accounting going on – the big teams are forward-spending as much as they can this year (given there’s likely going to be no point in 2/3 of the grid even bothering to update their cars much after Barcelona), with at least 3 teams confirmed to be bringing new wind tunnels online…

          4. @optimaximal – agreed on the approach for DAS.

            And on the accounting angle – it was to be expected I suppose – especially if there’s no rules around spending in years preceding the new rules.

            Looking at some of the ructions going on in English football’s top 2 divisions around financial fair play I don’t envy the sport trying to police this at all.

  2. Hilarious when Team Principal contradicts his own Chief Technical Engineer….

    1. The engineer is thinking from the engineering perspective while team manager thinking from a cost perspective

      1. team manager thinking from a cost perspective

        No the team manager just wants other teams hard work banned.

  3. Instant changes in the regulations will definitely dampen the will to try creative tech. It will be very risky to put a lot of effort on new inventions which could be banned for the next race. The rules must at least stand for a season, if its not a safety issue, which you could class the f-ducts for example with the one handed driving.

  4. I don’t understand this article. It can’t be more contrary. On the 1 hand, Christian Horner says “here we are talking about the DAS system, it’s very clever, some bright engineers have come up with it, and I think innovation is absolutely part of Formula 1.”

    And on the other, the article 1st line says “Formula 1’s plan to stop teams exploiting loopholes in the rules is needed, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has said.”.

    Something feels definitely missing. The 2 statements don’t add up. I get the impression this article is taking things out of context. This article leads me to conclude that the real message is the “DAS is exploiting a loophole”. If so, what are the arguments supporting that? Are these really showing a spirit to circumvent a regulation for the purpose it was thought for?

    If innovation is part of F1, then it has got to be accepted that it will bring an element of surprise and hence can’t be thought upfront in regulations. I would agree that innovations that are tricking the regulation system to provide data which complies within the allowed ranges, should have no place in F1.

    1. @marankumar The reason Horner’s remarks sound contradictory is that he is hitting on exactly the issue that has been a problem for years and that for the new chapter they are trying to address. Innovation is part of F1, part of it’s DNA, and needs to be there as part of the game, but excessive freedom to innovate is what has created the vast imbalance between the ‘have’ teams and the ‘have not’ teams, and it just becomes a game of who has the most money/staff/facilities wins, with the lesser ones having no hope whatsoever.

      This is the very issue and a most difficult balance that Liberty and Brawn have finally, after years of it being ignore under BE, started to address. It isn’t easy. Keep teams and fans happy by insuring there is cool innovation going on, but at the same time keep the top teams, who will spend every penny they have and can’t be trusted to do otherwise without regs to cap it, from spending outrageous amounts that other teams can’t even fathom for any tenth they can find.

      Bottom line, the old model of more freedom to innovate is what has helped create the vast imbalance amongst the teams and has made it unsustainable for all but the top money teams. It is absolutely necessary as part of the strategy to sustain F1 for years to come, to monitor more closely than ever the amounts teams spend on (particularly) innovations that cost way too much for way too little gain. That is what Horner means by ‘responsible’ innovations and what Brawn was saying too. Both of them have said now that there is still going to be innovation…just not the extreme kind that only the top teams have ever been able to afford, and that ensures that smaller teams can never compete, and discourages new teams from considering entering.

  5. The consequence of [DAS] is that inevitably it will drive costs for the teams that choose to exploit that kind of technology.

    I think we need to look and see how well it works for Mercedes in races before we ban it. Maybe the way those two Mercedes cars perform will make it obvious F1 needs to have this technology. If so, rules should be relaxed so teams could be allowed to use it next year too. Maybe this won’t affect the mid-field teams, but the ability to reduce drag at high speed could become essential for a front running team. If so, they will certainly allocate money to the project.
    After all, when you consider F1 banned active suspension, only to have teams devise at great expense non-active suspension systems that do nearly the same thing. So why not allow this technology in F1? What is actually wrong with a driver being able to drive a better car?

    1. @drycrust

      I think we need to look and see how well it works for Mercedes in races before we ban it.

      DAS has already been banned for 2021.

      1. DAS has already been banned for 2021.

        Hasn’t DAS only been technically banned from the point of view of how Mercedes activate it via moving the steering wheel backwards and forwards (as the rule require the steering wheel to only move left and right along it’s axis or something?)…

    2. @drycrust I think the answer to your questions is that F1 got along fine without DAS all this time, so it is not necessary in order to make for a better overall product on the track. It is the innovations like getting off of aero dependence and on to emphasizing more ground effects that is truly going to help the racing. Given the urgency and the measures already taken to try to get F1 into a more sustainable financial mode, the last thing F1 needs now is for all teams to have to drop a bunch of money on an innovation, as cool as it is, that isn’t necessary for the good of the sport.

      Let’s say it turns out to be a great aid to Mercedes this year. And let’s say it was allowed going forward. Now all teams will have to spend on it, and maybe not for year one but by year two all teams will have optimized it’s usefulness and then they will all be back on the same page performance wise, but having had to spend untold millions in the meantime.

      They don’t need to find out how good this innovation is to already know it is too complex and expensive to employ and still keep on target towards a more balanced F1 between the have and the have not teams.

  6. Chatterbox Horner.

  7. I would much rather see more simplified rules to encourage innovation than more complex rules that stifle innovation. Shouldn’t the response be “wow” rather than “that’s not fair”?

  8. Maybe FIA should start a new series where engineers are actually allowed to build the best cars they can, with size, safety and fuel consumption being the only limits.

  9. Imagine if Ferrari had come up with Driver Assist Steering and the FIA ruled it legal…..
    What a howl we would have heard from every quarter!

    1. antony obrien
      6th March 2020, 9:13

      Imagine if Ferrari came up with an innovation that gave them the fastest car and still couldn’t win a WDC. Oh wait, we don’t need to.

    2. You mean from most F1 fans that are Ferrari fans? Yeah right.

    3. @Islander If Ferrari had come up with DAS, delivered the proposal to the FIA, had it approved as legal, then deployed it successfully in the first test (you know, like Mercedes did), then why would there be a howl from every quarter, because that is realistically how new developments should be conducted to avoid the threat of legal challenges and complaints?

      1. @optimaximal I would agree that it is more likely that, if Ferrari had managed to do just that, the coverage probably would be more favourable than Islander suggests.

        After all, we had a similar analogy back in 2017 with Ferrari’s sidepods – the design that Ferrari came up with took advantage of a gap in the rules to produce a more efficient design, and most of the press coverage about that concept complimented Ferrari for what was seen as a clever interpretation of the rules.

    4. Imagine if Ferrari had come up with Driver Assist Steering and the FIA ruled it legal…..
      What a howl we would have heard from every quarter!

      You’re actually so tapped. Tifosi are the most vocal, numerous and tantrum prone fans in F1.

  10. So reading between the lines. Mercedes has come up something clever that they didn’t and they want to ban it.

  11. The question is how much it will cost for a team like RBR (Honda’s works team) to develop the DAS system knowing that their entire budget is spent on chassis alone. This guy has a brilliant future in politics !

  12. Sorry Christian, I don’t agree not that budget caps are in place.

    If a team, any team comes up with something unique that it can bring to their car within the cap then why not allow it. If it’s a disaster, they can’t do what the big three used to do and just throw money as an alternative development. If it’s not, then they’ll get the benefit of it for up to a year.

    All teams are going to be far more risk averse when it come to what ideas to actually go with so I don’t see any need for the rules to be changed or tightened.

    1. Darn that should read “now that budget caps are in place”

      1. @dbradock OK, but there are a few realities going on though. One is that the cap is being brought in gradually so there is still going to be a significant difference between the have and the have not teams for a time yet. Even when the final caps are in place, and the money distribution is more fair (which I believe is going to be more immediate), there is still going to be the have and the have less teams, but the point they are aiming for is that at least the gulf won’t be nearly as vast between the teams, and the lesser teams will actually get the sense that they can grow themselves into something more competitive, in a more balanced atmosphere.

        Secondly, there will still be lesser teams that can’t get close to the cap levels, so depending on the unique thing of which you speak, DAS in this case as what Horner is using as an example, what if the costs to develop that, even if you’re not the inventor of it and are just having to try to adapt it in order to keep up, take up a third of a lesser team’s budget? There are innovations within the cap, the budget, sure, but that doesn’t mean an innovation that a top team can come up with, even within the cap, is just as easily adapted by a lesser team without it affecting other aspects of their business that may have to sacrifice something for said innovation catch-up.

        Letting them innovate all they want within the cap seems to sound right on paper, for after all, how can they spend their way into unsustainability if they are capped in their spending?…but it still only works for the teams with no trouble hitting the cap to begin with, and those with less have to juggle their expenditures far more. And of course what we are talking about mainly is the expensive and complicated innovations such as DAS.

        1. @robbie sorry, you can’t have it both ways.

          If the cap is too high, then it should have been set lower.
          If a team can’t get enough sponsorship etc to get to the cap, it’s not anyone’s fault but theirs, or, the cap is still unrealistic
          Why should a team that does spend up to their cap be penalised by not being allowed to use that spend.
          As you keep saying over and over teams spent themselves into unsustainably – that has been capped now. Let it play out, let’s not just clamp down on everything while it’s transitioning or it will just create a set of regs that draw ever closer to a spec series

          1. @dbradock Well, the point is they are trying to get it as close to both ways as they can, for the best possible balance they can achieve between spending and sustainability. But that does not have to mean there is some steady erosion or conversion towards spec. That’s just an imagined worry at this point. Nobody is ever going to agree to take F1 to spec. They’ll settle somewhere that is more reasonable than astronomical but keeps money in it for innovation etc etc. They’ll well ensure they can still call themselves the pinnacle of racing.

            They are making this first necessary shot at resetting F1, knowing it is a constant work in progress. They’ve negotiated numbers, and a timeline to evolve into a certain cap number, and who knows, that may change. They’ll look at it constantly to try to manage F1 in a better way than it has.

            I am not looking for there to ever be full equalization financially amongst the teams whatsoever. I just acknowledge what they are doing and why rather than just shooting what they’re doing down. Anything they are doing is a step forward as far as I’m concerned, which ironically has to include hauling it back on far reaching and expensive innovation.

            The caps, whatever they settle out to, will dictate what the teams choose to spend on, and as Brawn has said they will be more inclined to run their ideas past FIA first before spending much time or money at all. I think there will still be the have teams and the have more than they had teams, and Brawn will want to keep ensuring as minimal an amount of discrepancy between the teams as possible but certainly while not disrupting the DNA part of F1 that wants for as much innovation as possible or allowed, within reason.

            I just think the 30 to 50 mill innovations are going to be discouraged even if a team keeps within their budget doing it. If that 30 mill is too great a percentage of half of the teams budgets, and the expense becomes necessary in order for them to stay somewhat competitive, then is it a good innovation for F1 overall? Cool that a team who invented it, found the loophole, what have you…great for the team(s) doing it…what about the balance in F1 though? That’s all they’re concerned with. Somebody coming out with some whacky loophole off a comma and ends up dominating for the next 6 years, is not what F1 needs now, sorry for the extreme example. Be a purist and say hey that’s F1, fine, but that doesn’t mean it is what F1 needs right now.

            Yeah it sounds ‘spec-ier’ than we have had it for years, but F1 is far from spec and will never go there. There is no need to assume just because they have taken these initial measures means some proverbial cloud of oppression is about to move in. When has Brawn ever said or implied he wants F1 to be more and more spec till there’s nothing more to touch? They aren’t ‘clamping down on everything’ whatsoever.

  13. Dear RedBull! You can move to Indycar anytime.
    Anyways Horner is Horner @peartree hit the nail on the head.

  14. IMO unlimited technical freedom within a capped budget would hold the most appeal for me as a fan. I just still have my doubts over how easy it will be to police the proposed cap.

    1. @tomd11 It’s quite easy, in theory, as every development on the car must be adequately accounted for – this will likely mean that a lot of paperwork will be generated on processes that were originally ‘paper free’ but this is just a growing pain that any legitimate business can deal with.

      FOM has contracted (IIRC) Deloitte to independently police this, who are professionally capable of sniffing out said creative accounting. They’re not going to want to be seen as able to be foxed by a car company, as their reputation will suffer.

  15. Horner’s job is to keep RB in the headlines. That means he’s a ‘rent-a-mouth’ on any subject whatever, at every opportunity. He knows DAC isn’t using a loophole. It’s an entirely new idea, that had never occurred to the teams or rule makers. If his team come up with DAC and made it work, it would be on his cars today. Despite his claims, I imagine RB are currently work day and night to get the system on their car as soon as possible.

  16. F1 needs innovations, but it can’t ignore the monetary side of them.
    IMO it’s O.K. to ban innovations that are too expensive for smaller/private teams to develop.
    Only if all teams operate on same or similar budgets, there can be full technical freedom.

  17. Haha Horner at it again.
    2011 RedBull had the flexi front wing, Horner was laughing about that one
    2013, RedBull is alleged to have created a legal version of the otherwise totally illegal traction control system.
    2014 Ricciardo disqualified due to RedBull increasing the flow rate to the engine.
    And they’re only the ones we know about.
    Yep no doubt they are looking very hard at ‘bending’ the rules every working day of the week.

    1. @johnrkh

      Also, 2014 Abu Dhabi, both Red Bulls disqualified from qualifying and ultimately starting from the pit lane after their front wings were seen to flex beyond the allowed tolerances and on investigation found to esentially have hinges covered by rubber caps.

      1. The master of flexi wing wanting to ban flexi toe, ironic !

    2. @johnrkh Yet there is quite a difference between the years you are citing, and today’s reality. Under BE, and particularly in his last decade as the head along with CVC, the top teams had all the incentive and license to do and spend whatever they wanted for all intents and purposes. And of course it wasn’t just RBR but it was all the teams trying all kinds of things.

      I don’t hear anything but reasonableness on Horner’s part here. With what they are trying to achieve going forward under Liberty and Brawn, the specific innovation of DAS does not make financial sense. That has nothing to do with the types of innovations, interesting interpretations, loopholes, etc etc whatever you want to call the bending of the rules that all teams do, and that you have cited RBR has done in the past. This is about an expensive and complex innovation that he acknowledges is quite clever brought about by some bright engineers, but it just doesn’t fit with today’s plan for F1’s sustainable future.

      I don’t think any of the ‘bending’ RBR has done that you have cited ended up costing all the teams a ton of time and money to have to adapt to in order to keep up, let alone in an atmosphere that has changed towards a more balanced and sustainable future.

      1. @robbie actually, a number of those developments that Red Bull introduced, such as the flexible front wings, reportedly did cost teams a substantial amount to develop – sums in the order of tens of millions were raised for that, not only in terms of the material development costs, but the significantly increased aerodynamic research that went on with that as well. They took a fairly significant amount of money and development time to perfect – if anything, given your comments about “excessive innovation”, some might say that those developments tended towards that category as, in a number of cases, those development costs and resources could only be borne by the bigger teams, mainly Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari.

        1. @anon Interesting. I would have thought that rather than the teams having to do that, FIA instead added weight to hang off the wing(s) to test for flex and discourage the need for teams to come up with equally flexing wings to RBR’s. Otherwise if you are right and initially the wings were not made illegal, in other words teams were having to spend money to research and duplicate them, it still holds that that was at a time when the teams were more free to spend and innovate than they will be in the new reality.

          1. @robbie whilst the FIA did make some minor modifications to the testing procedure in 2010, it was ineffective at stopping the complaints about excessive flexing of the front wings.

            The change at the time, if I recall well, was actually pretty crude – the FIA increased the maximum load, but didn’t change anything else about the testing procedure (i.e. the loads were still applied as a point load in the same position on the front wing), and the applied load itself was still not particularly high.

            All that did was encourage the teams to modify the structure of the wings to allow them to still pass the modified load testing procedure, but to then allow the wings to flex whilst on track. It wasn’t really until 2013, when the FIA made more significant alterations to the front wing load tests, that the situation began to change.

            Even so, it didn’t entirely go away as a topic – in 2017, there were questions about the design of Red Bull’s front wing endplates, as slow motion video footage showed that was distorting quite noticeably at speed. That does, however, seem to have reduced after the 2019 endplate regulation changes – though you can debate whether that was an intentional change or just a side effect of those regulation changes.

  18. I think what he’s trying to say is that he he doesn’t want grey zones that can be exploited in the rulebook.
    DAS isn’t an outright innovation that the rulebook completely missed, it’s treading a grey zone.
    Still pretty rich coming from a guy from the team’s long history of “innovations”

    1. I agree. It is a grey zone caused by parsing every single sentence. Did the rule makers, in their secret brains, fully envision steering wheels that push in and out along with rotating, and this entire time they were secretly waiting for a team to discover they purposely left that open to exploitation. Or did they miss specifying that steering wheels should only rotate circular, and that any separate steering wheel function done by the driver that changes suspension geometry, while not influencing the intended direction of the car, is not what they had in mind. Of course rational people can see the difference in wording loop-holes to do things unintended, and innovations that are within the scope of where innovation should be discovered.

      1. Exactly, and I think yesterday’s statement from the FIA about the whole Ferrari issue proves that technical stuff isn’t quite their thing… they just don’t have the guile to close up some of these rules

  19. Translation: When the innovation (their own or someone else’s clever idea) is something that Red Bull can implement through in-season upgrades then it is “part of Formula 1”. When it is something that they can’t implement through upgrades (either because of cost, complexity, or not understanding how it is done) it is a loophole that needs to be closed.

  20. I’m wondering are there any downsides to the DAS system ? The front suspension with its thin carbon is not really the strongest part of the car and is the reason for many DNF’s. Even after a what looks like a small touch to either a wall or another car.

    Does this make it even more fragile. Extra moving parts in places they should not in a certain way does not always have to be good.

    1. No, this is just changing how the steering angles are adjusted. The only change is to the steering assembly, rather than to anything that’s part of the suspension.

  21. Lol Horner and generally RB try to find excuses allready before the season starts. 1st it was Ferrari with no proof and now is DAS that is deemed legal for this year by the FIA. I only wonder if Honda PU this year will last more than 5 races no matter the performance of it.

  22. I actually think F1 needs to go the other direction– A means to *adopt* innovation more readily.

    Mercedes invents DAS, and it’s legal? Let the *teams* decide if it’s worth investing in. Let Mercedes run it for– three races, say. And after that, they have to provide, not necessarily detailed technical drawings, but a moderately description of how they implemented it. Then let the teams decide if it should be allowed or not, going forward.

    I realize that “explaining the magic trick” is counter to F1’s rules of secrecy, but a lot of the cost of F1 is every team reinventing the wheel.

  23. Would it be hilarious if DAS was nothing but a decoy, just a small part of the steering column telescoping with no effect whatsoever on the rest of the car, simply designed to send the likes of Horner into orbit ?

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