Christian Horner, Red Bull, Red Bull Ring, 2020

Todt praises Red Bull’s handling of Mercedes’ DAS protest

2020 Austrian Grand Prix

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FIA president Jean Todt praised Red Bull’s decision to bring its protest against Mercedes before the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix, instead of trying to get them disqualified after the race and putting the result in doubt.

Red Bull lodged a protest against Mercedes’ dual-axis steering system yesterday, claiming it contravened the suspension regulations. The stewards rejected their protest, ruling the device is part of the car’s steering system.

Todt expressed satisfaction with how the matter was handled when speaking to media at the Red Bull Ring today.

“There are rules and they are interpreted and they are optimised,” said Todt. “And clearly if one team has some doubts and there is a healthy governance and if they want to make a protest, honestly I prefer a team to make a protest at the beginning of the championship rather than at the end of the race. So I think that the approach of Red Bull had been very good, very straight forward.”

While Red Bull’s protest challenged the interpretation of the FIA, Todt said they were justified in raising their concern.

“The stewards, they do rely on interpretation [of] our experts, and clearly this technical device which is called DAS, coming from Mercedes, is something which has been followed by the FIA technical experts,” he said. “I understand that they felt that it was corresponding to the regulations. But still, if a confirmation was needed, for me it was fair.

“It’s a lot of pressure on our experts on that. That is why we have decided that on sensitive interpretation it was going to be a little panel of three experts who will have to agree or disagree on one interpretation. So it’s not only one guy who can say, ‘Yes, black or white’. It will be a group of three experts plus it can be a contribution from any electronic expert, engine expert, to be able to give an answer.”

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 4 comments on “Todt praises Red Bull’s handling of Mercedes’ DAS protest”

    1. All good. It will be interesting to see if RBR has a system ready to go or if they deem the complexity and the weight raising the CG vs any gain is worth it for this one truncated season. Methinks we’ll only see them with DAS if they already have it ready to go for installation and use, however, there’d still be a learning curve with it, and with these back to back to back weekends….?

    2. *facepalm*

      First. These losers will appeal after the race. That’s almost a given.

      Second. Mr.Todt seems to praise many wild things lately, even those which are a clear cover up.

      I think he must go.

      1. Facepalm I think you must go.

    3. the most surprising thing in all this. last year the renault protest was very sly, on the other hand you don’t generally see things overturned at the top end these days.

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