After Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team swept both practice sessions in Austria, the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team have launched an official protest against Mercedes’ over the legality of the Dual-Axis Steering (DAS) system.
Mercedes initially debut the system at pre-season testing which Red Bull immediately question the legitimacy of with Dr. Helmut Marko saying, “If your actively adjusting the ‘camber’ while driving, the contact surface of the tyres with the asphalt changes. The height of the car to the road surface is therefore changed, even if this is by a very small amount”
Red Bull originally planned to launch this protest in Melbourne however with the Australian Grand Prix’s late cancellation the team couldn’t submit their complaints to the FIA.
Red Bull has now moved to make sure DAS is 110% legal; the FIA has now confirmed the formal protest made by the team against both cars driven by Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, after drivers were seen to be using DAS on their cars through practice as Mercedes swept the field to a 1-2 finish in both sessions.
The two constructors will meet the FIA stewards, with the alleged breach being Articles 3.8 and 10.2.3 of the technical regulations, with the latter being the expected grounds of protest relating to the suspension of the car.
Article 10.2.3 reads that “no adjustment may be made to any suspension system while the car is in motion.”
Article 3.8 of the regulations explain aerodynamic influence stating that “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). With the exception of the driver-adjustable bodywork described in Article 3.6.8 (in addition to minimal parts solely associated with its actuation) and the parts described in Articles 11.4, 11.5 and 11.6, any specific part of the car influencing its aerodynamic performance must remain immobile in relation to the sprung part of the car.”