Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Nurburgring, 2020

Mercedes relied on DAS “more than ever” at cold Nurburgring

2020 Eifel Grand Prix

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Mercedes chief strategist James Vowles says the team relied on its unique Dual Axis Steering system “more than ever” during the Eifel Grand Prix to optimise its tyre performance in the cold conditions.

The device, known as DAS, proved especially useful in the Safety Car restart at the end of the race, when Hamilton used it to bring his front tyres up to the correct temperature and pull away from the field quickly.

DAS allows the driver to adjust the toe angle of the front tyres by moving the steering wheel backwards or forwards. Despite controversy at pre-season Barcelona testing earlier this year, it was ruled permissible for 2020. No other team is known to have produced a duplicate of the device, which will be outlawed at the end of the season.

Vowles said that Mercedes used DAS “more than ever” at the Nurburgring, “in free practice, on single lap work, in qualifying but also during the race.”

Both Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen complained their tyres were getting very cold during the Safety Car period at the end of the race.

“In terms of where we used it in the race it was on the formation lap, but also when we were behind the Safety Car,” said Vowles. “We had a number of laps circulating on tyres that were just getting colder and colder.

“I think it is fair to say DAS was a contributing factor to why our restart was so good and it really came into its own this weekend.”

Red Bull boss Christian Horner said Verstappen was comparatively disadvantaged without it.

“Because the Safety Car waited so long for the field to catch up and was going so slowly, the tyre temperature was a big issue,” said Horner.

“I think the Mercedes with their DAS system are able to handle that perhaps better than we were, so the restart was a little tricky.”

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50 comments on “Mercedes relied on DAS “more than ever” at cold Nurburgring”

  1. I know Mercedes gets a lot of flak for winning all the time, but this is a perfect example of why. They came up with a unique idea, checked with the FIA that it would be legal, implemented it, used it, won the race. Any of the other teams could have done the same, but didn’t for any number of reasons. You can’t really fault them for simply doing a better job on things like this. At the end of the day, F1 is a technological competition as well as a driver/team competition.

    1. It’s not Mercedes’s fault that their rivals cannot catch up even with political chicanery off the track. If anything it shows why rivals need to shut their holes and heads down and work hard.

      1. It’s not Mercedes’s fault…..that the FIA and FOM gave them a 3 year head start with the token system that came with these engines, allowing Mercedes to shift attention early to coming years, blocking rival teams from an actual development plan to catch up and depriving neutral fans of some proper championships!
        It’s not Mercedes’s fault…..that the FIA and FOM came up with a front wing change that served no purpose than handicapping every other team bar Mercedes!
        It’s not Mercedes’s fault…..that the FIA and FOM allowed Pirelli to change the tread on their tires, preventing (surprise, surprise) Mercedes’ tires from having heat issues!
        It’s not Mercedes’s fault….that the FIA and FOM allowed Mercedes to burn three liters of oil during a race, despite these engines being marketed as green!
        It’s not Mercedes’s fault….that the FIA and FOM banned blown diffusers, and blown axels but failed to do so with Mercedes’ wheel rims and DAS.
        It’s not Mercedes’s fault….viewers are dropping by millions, sponsors are hard to get, most teams are struggling to stay afloat thanks to an highly expensive engine formula and not one single car manufacturer is interested in joining as we speak!

        But hey, we atleast agree that it ain’t Mercedes fault all of their titles where handed to them on a silver platter with compliments from the FIA and FOM.

        1. That you, Chris Horner?

        2. Oconomo, and we all know that you wouldn’t be able to heap enough praise on Mercedes if Max Verstappen was driving for them instead of Lewis Hamilton…

          1. Nevertheless. Some of those points actually make sense!

          2. Actually, none of them make any sense – except to someone living in an alternate universe.

          3. erikje, no, most of the posts by Oconomo/David Bondo are paranoid rubbish that recycle anti-Mercedes conspiracy theories that have been debunked in order to claim that the righteous Max Verstappen has been cruelly denied the title that they obsessively believe he is automatically entitled to.

        3. Technology advances in F1. Each team tries to find loopholes and the FIA tries to close them.

          Whining about Mercedes is pathetic. Ferrari had (and still does) many many advantages conferred on them by the FIA (aka Ferrari International Assistance).

          Verstappen fans are as insufferable as the tifosi. Biggest whiners and excuse-makers.

          Make no mistake, Verstappen is every bit as arrogant as Hamilton was at his age,

        4. You bring up a good point of the oil usage. I know in drag racing, using something to cool the combustion chambers down during racing allows more HP to be derived…
          Is it possible MB is able to allow more oil into the cylinders, therefore extracting more HP?

        5. It’s not Mercedes fault that u talk rubb ish

        6. Great post. FIA went to great degrees to handicap Ferrari when they finally created superior cars in 2001 and 2002. RBR dominated in 2011 but the FIA came down hard on their inventions. Two years of Ferrari dominance was enough for everyone. One year of RBR dominance was too much. Mercedes allowed to completely dominate the sport for 7 straight years soon to be 8.

          1. It’s no doubt a great post David Bongo because you wrote it on one of your other accounts.

            Don’t want us to recognise them stop using identical terms for drivers such as ‘prime’ and stop with the constant one year two year eight year rant.
            it does not work.

        7. Not even going to waste my time rubbishing every thing you wrote. Go get your self a tin foil hat

    2. Here is a good reason why you should never ever discredit or diminish Hamilton”s success

        1. And here Is another reason
          why you should never ever discredit or diminish Hamilton”s success

    3. Spot on mate

    4. proud_asturian
      18th October 2020, 20:40

      “Colluded with them to exploit a loophole in the rules”.
      Any other team doing so you would demand their heads.
      Stop fellating them, please.

  2. It’s also one of the little details that explains why Hamilton isn’t getting the credit he deserves. He has a performance gimmick that no other team has.

    1. I really think he does not care what people think. He just wants to win. He already has almost all the records that nobody has. Who cares about the thoughts of others when you have all the success?

      1. Performance gimmick or not, neither he nor Ricci made a mess of turn 1 after the restart. Max did. By the time he got to turn 2 the race was over and Ham was in management mode.
        And I was thinking about this the other day. Invariably Ham takes the lead from the safety car. When was the last time he lost out on the restart? Or how many times in the last few years has he blown it?

        1. @ian dearing
          “Max did.”

          Mercedes chief strategist James Vowles: “I think it is fair to say DAS was a contributing factor to why our restart was so good and it really came into its own this weekend.”

          Sure buddy, whatever you say!

          And what exactly did Daniel, whose tires were up to temperature thanks to a couple of laps on full speed, do?
          Oh wait, he failed to overtake Max! Which makes him the guy who actually messed up his restart, lol!

          But hey, Max driving in circles around Daniel, what else is new…..

          1. What a stupid reply. If your tyres are cold, you drive to the conditions and the limits of your car. But no, here you are making excuses for Max making a mistake, as you repeatedly do. He was also locking up a lot into turn 1 as were others. But I’m sure you have yet more excuses for why that wasn’t Max’s fault.

          2. I think Oconomo has been making up the excuses to highlight the fans of Verstappen who keep on giving way too much credit. It honeslty ticks me off, especially when Horner and Marko do it. Verstappen is a great driver, but the amount of promotion or PR he gets from others is just unnecessary.

  3. Stephen Higgins
    14th October 2020, 16:34

    If DAS becomes a system available in road cars at some point, then at least it won’t have been waste of development and resources.

    1. Erm, hope that was a bit of a tongue in cheek comment..

      1. Seems like a good idea to me??

        My 72-year-old mom has had to deal with under heated front tires while merging onto the highway for FAR too long! In Merc we trust! (:

    2. I had the feeling they would have found a use for DAS, its just a shame we, ve not had in car pictures of the system being used. Aside from when it was introduced i don’t think the public has had any in car feeds to show it being utilised. Which is a shame because after this season this brillant bit of engineering will be shelved.

      1. actually on the TV feed of Nurburgring you could see it. on the last safety car lap there was an onboard of a Mercedes driver (not sure which one) who was visibly pushing or pulling his steering wheel. the commentators here mentioned it

  4. Ricciardo almost got ahead of Verstappen too though. Without DAS.

    So DAS might have helped Hamilton somewhat, but Verstappen napping at the restart helped him a lot more.

    1. @f1osaurus
      “Ricciardo almost got ahead of Verstappen too though. Without DAS.”

      You mean: Daniel who, just like all the drivers bar Max and Lewis, had a couple of laps at full speed (closing that extremely large gap Max had pulled in a car that is only slighty better than the Renault) to keep heat in his tires?
      And even then, with such an advantage, failed miserably in overtaking Max?

      Like I said: Max driving in circles around Daniel….what else is new!

      And as short reminder how clueless you are with your comments about the RBR designed for Max, here’s Andrew Shovlin: “A lot of the good drivers don’t have a particular style, it’s just whatever’s quick, they’ll adapt to do it.”

    2. @f1osaurus Verstappen was stuck running at a slower pace for longer behind the safety car. Ricciardo was forced to run at a considerably quicker pace to make up the near 1-minute deficit. That would probably explain why Ricciardo and everyone else behind him had better tyres at that point.

      1. @mashiat Yeah that doesn’t matter anymore after all the laps they did behind the safety car.

        1. @f1osaurus How does that not matter? Tyres keep losing temperatures behind the safety car, and Verstappen’s were colder to begin with. Why do you think both Hamilton and Verstappen were asking for the safety car to be brought in as soon as possible? It was to limit the temperature loss. The temperature doesn’t such drop instantly and stay there. This should be an easy enough concept to fathom. There is no way that Verstappen and Ricciardo had the same tyre temperatures.

          1. @mashiat It does not matter because they don’t cool more than a certain amount.

    3. it’s about perspective
      “DAS might have helped Hamilton somewhat”, I think it helped a lot, see the gap between the Mercedes, driven by Hamilton, and the rest of the field after the 1st lap after the SC ended.

      “Ricciardo almost got ahead of Verstappen too though. Without DAS”, Verstappen misjudged his braking point, therefore Riccardo came very close, but didn’t get ahead, almost doesn’t count

      1. @johnever Exactly. Verstappen messed up and that had nothing to with having DAS or not.

        1. your tone is always overly negative to Verstappen and overly positive to Hamilton…
          Verstappen braked a little too late, too late because the tires were too cold, that’s not messing up…
          And that had a lot too do with DAS, because DAS makes it easier to get temperatures in the front tires.

          I think you should be less biased, and more balanced with your comments

  5. So, again toto talks s#%*t
    He was to busy talking down the das system.

  6. The comments in this place are poisonous its so bad…

    1. 1 troll, 999 accounts :(

      Say 5 minutes per post, 12 per hour, 20 hours a day. That’s 240 posts each day, so even across, say, 6 F1 sites it’s 40 posts each, that’s 4 posts with 10 accounts. That’s 5 against Hamilton, 5 for Hamilton, broadly speaking.

      Yes this is somebody’s entire life. Ruining forums @keithcollantine.

    2. Yes it’s really gone downhill with the the driver fanatics just out to bash others at every opportunity. Even here about Mercedes DAS system, it’s all about how bad other drivers in other teams are. Ruining forums indeed. It didn’t use to be like this.

  7. DAS boot-warming

  8. I bet the usual culprits will be all over this one like a bad rash – telling how amazing Max Verstappen was to finish within 5 secs of the Mercedes without DAS on his car.

    Then we can also imagine what would have happened if he had it. He would have overtaken Hamilton and finished 30 secs ahead.


    1. Why making this a fanwar, it’s already bad enough.
      Ver is not mentioned by others then fundamentalists here.

  9. You can literally do that about any team though.

    It’s not Mercedes fault that the FIA banned their engine mode advantage.

    It’s not Mercedes fault the FIA crippled their closest rival for the next few years when they could have looked the other way on the engine drama.

    It’s not Mercedes fault their primary rival had a driver that threw away multiple chances at a title or decided to ram one of their cars behind the safety car.

    It’s not Mercedes fault Red Bull chose to be a customer team and publicly shamed their engine supplier until it became toxic.

    It’s not Mercedes fault that Red Bull insists on have a lower tier second driver which limits their options for race strategy.

    All 10 teams voted unanimously to keep these same tires so can’t blame Mercedes for that. Though you can that they lobbied for it mid season a few years back… just as Ferrari lobbied to ban the Michelin design in 2003 crunch time.

    The FIA can only do so much. They can’t change the tires to hinder Mercedes like they did with Ferrari in 2005 since all the teams use the same tires.

    They went after Mercs biggest advantage (engine power) and went after that, regardless of what you feel the actual reason was to ban engine modes.

    They’re also banning their other biggest resource… money. But that’s a 2022 deal.

    The team at the front always catches the most flak…. I’m a Ferrari fan so I have to struggle to remember what that is like these days lol

    The attempts to lower prices have locked in some advantages for teams that will be hard to overturn. It’s an unfortunate consequence but perhaps that helped a few teams survive. No one single change or decision happens in a vacuum. Everything impacts something else.

    2 of the merc designers were cast out from Ferrari because they can’t keep a happy work environment. What they have achieved at Mercedes just shows to what level Ferrari suppressed quality and creative thinking. I hope they live that struggle every single day and it reminds them what not to be as a company. What they did to themselves.

    Even with all that, how different would we look at the narrative of the hybrid area if Vettel didn’t forget how to drive a car at the worst possible times?

  10. The curse of the internet reply sections. Only the ones with very strong opinions feel the need to express themselves. It’s all the same everywhere.

    I like what Verstappen brings to the track. I also really like that Mercedes is not backing down and brought DAS. Because I have a nuanced opinion I guess it’s not worth typing a reply here. So I won’t.

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