Formula 1 teams are unlikely to copy the “highly complex and advanced” Dual-Axis Steering system pioneered by rival Mercedes, according to Renault sporting director Alan Permane.

Mercedes caused a stir in the Barcelona paddock when it debuted the DAS system on its W11 2020 challenger. Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton was seen moving his steering wheel backwards and forwards on the straights to change the toe angle of the front wheels.

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has already played down the likeliness of copying the system, adding it would take nearly half a season to perfect. The FIA has given the green light for Mercedes to use DAS this year, but such a system will be outlawed from 2021.

“It’s certainly not a system that we are going to copy or have on the car for Melbourne,” Permane said.

“It’s highly complex and advanced and I suspect it’s taken them a long time to figure it out and a lot of testing back at the factory.

“So if there is a benefit and it is legal, you won’t see other cars with it for quite some time.

“They have done something clever and undoubtedly there’s some lap time in it,” he added.

“I’m sure they will have been through it with Nicholas [Tombazis] and the FIA and they are happy it’s legal.

“There’s probably a parc ferme question but the detail lies whether it’s a steering system or a suspension system. They are defined differently and maybe that’s where the detail is.”

And Permane doubts there are any safety concerns over DAS, unlike with the controversial F-Duct device which was banned from the 2011 F1 season after drivers were steering one-handed.

“We can’t speculate if it is [safe or not],” Permane explained.

“The thing with the F-Duct was people were concerned with driving with one hand, especially in high-speed corners and I’m sure they haven’t designed and made a system that is unsafe so I don’t safety will come into it.”

 

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