Red Bull has “raised questions” and asked the FIA for “clarification” over Mercedes’ use of its controversial Dual Axis Steering system at Formula 1’s season-opening Austrian Grand Prix. 

Mercedes has confirmed it is running DAS on Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas’ W11 cars for this weekend’s season-opener in Austria, the first of back-to-back races at the Red Bull Ring

The innovative device, which allows its drivers to adjust the toe angle of their front wheels by sliding the steering wheel back and forth along the straights, first caused a stir when it debuted during Barcelona pre-season testing. 

Mercedes was given the green light to run DAS this season but the system has been outlawed for 2021. The reigning world champion squad’s rivals have so far opted against developing their own versions due to doubts over its legality and whether the subsequent development cost is worthwhile.

There have been suggestions that Red Bull could lodge an official protest against DAS if Mercedes used it this weekend, and Red Bull team boss Christian Horner told Sky his side has requested “clarification” from the FIA. 

“It’s a complicated system, it’s a clever system and we’re after some clarification from the FIA, just raising some questions about it,” Horner said. 

Asked whether Red Bull will consider introducing its own version during the 2020 season: “It depends what it actually does and achieves. 

“Everything has to earn its place on the car. It’s a clever system, it’s an ingenious system. But these rules are so complex it’s just understanding which part of the regulations it fits.”

In response, Mercedes' Toto Wolff remains confident the team has acted within the regulations but expects Red Bull to raise opposition once racing gets underway.

"I think again what you would expect all teams are pretty much aware we are in a sensitive situation with going racing, it’s the first race, I think on one side it’s fair enough to seek clarification, on the other side we are aware we don’t want to end up with a big debate on Sunday night.

"I think Christian is going to take the right actions. Controversy and different judgement on engineer innovation has always been a part of F1, it’s to be expected in a way, and it is part of the racing.

 

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