Red Bull Racing has formally lodged a protest against Mercedes’ for its controversial Dual Axis Steering (DAS) over what it feels is a contravention of the technical regulations.

The device has been a source of debate since pre-season testing when it was first spotted being used on the Mercedes W11, though until today it wasn’t clear whether it would make an appearance on a race weekend.

However, with Mercedes confirming it is featuring the device ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix, Red Bull Racing will take the matter to the stewards for a clarification on its legality.

 

 

The unusual device allows the drivers to adjust the toe angle of their front wheels by sliding the steering wheel back and forth along the straights.

It has already been outlawed for 2021, but Mercedes is permitted to use it this season with Toto Wolff insisting Mercedes has worked closely with the FIA to ensure it doesn’t fall into any legal traps.

However, it’s an outcome that hasn’t pleased Red Bull, with team principal Christian Horner hinting earlier today that Red Bull is considering its options.

Its complaint is on the grounds that it is ‘a movable aerodynamic device and that it constitutes an illegal adjustment to suspension while the car is in motion (articles 3.8 and 10.2.3 of technical regulations)’.

Article 3.8 of the regulations states: “Any specific part of the car influencing its aerodynamic performance must comply with the rules relating to bodywork" and "must be rigidly secured to the entirely sprung part of the car (rigidly secured means not having any degree of freedom).

At the heart of Red Bull’s grievance appears to centre about the decision to allow DAS for 2020 but outlaw it for 2021, even though the technical regulations remain unchanged.

“First of all it is a very clever system, and so all credit to the ingenuity behind it,” he said. “I think the fundamental question for us is does it comply with the regulations.

“In what are, in a fundamentally grey area, obviously we do want clarity on it as it does have an impact regarding the rest of this year, it’s something outlawed for next year, question is it right for this year, they’re the questions we’ll be asking of the FIA through the necessary channels.”

Red Bull and Mercedes are due to meet the stewards at 19.10 (local)

 

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