Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has played down the likeliness of copying the Mercedes Dual-Axil Steering (DAS) system as he feels it would take almost half a season to perfect.

Mercedes grabbed the attention of the entire Formula 1 paddock during the opening pre-season test at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya when it debuted the DAS system, which was spotted when Lewis Hamilton moved his steering wheel backwards and forwards on the track straights which changed the toe angle of the front wheels.

While the reigning F1 world champions remain tight-lipped on the exact performance benefits of the system, it did confirm it has been checked with the FIA and should be allowed to run this season. The FIA has since moved to clarify the DAS system will be permitted for this year but is set to be banned from 2021.

Having seen its chief F1 world title rivals demonstrate an innovative development ahead of the new season, Ferrari boss Binotto says his team must fully understand the advantages of the DAS system before trying to copy it, but even then he fears his engineering squad wouldn’t have the device ready until mid-season.

“I have seen that there is a lot of discussion on it and personally on my side I haven’t looked in detail what it is about but I think we fully trust the FIA to show they have made the right decisions. I completely trust what they judge on it,” Binotto said.

“I think we need to understand how it works and what could be the real performance benefit of it. I don’t think we have got a true understanding of it yet. We will look into it no doubt and develop it if it worthwhile.

“I think in case it is worthwhile, which I have no idea or not, but it needs an entire concept, design, producing it, homologation and tested to be safe. If it is, it can be by mid-season but not earlier.”

Binotto also confirmed Ferrari will speak to the FIA for clarification about the device but currently are not questioning its legality.

“Are we discussing with the FIA? Not yet, we will do for clarification as it is important for us to understand. We will not challenge the FIA on their decision because we trust them fully in what will be or has been on the decision on it,” he added.

“What I would like to do is make their [Mercedes’] life difficult on track.”

F1 pre-season testing resumes tomorrow with the second three-day test at the Spanish Grand Prix venue (February 26-28).

 

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