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After two days of incredible mileage from the teams, Formula 1 pre-season testing enters its final day for the week. Join The Roar for live updates from 7:00pm (AEDT).
The big talking point in the paddock on Day 2 was Mercedes’ new Double Axis Steering (DAS) system. It works by the driver pushing the steering wheel backwards and forwards to adjust the toe that adjusts how straight the wheels are. On straights, it is used to straighten the wheels to improve straight line speed as speed isn’t scrubbed off by the tyre being at a slight angle.
James Allison, Mercedes’ technical director, said in a press conference: “It just introduces an extra dimension in the steering for the driver, which we hope will be useful during the season. But precisely how we use it, why we use it… that’s something we’ll keep to ourselves.”
He also said that the FIA have been well aware of this for quite some time and so we can infer that the system is within the technical regulations of the sport.
What is unclear, though, is exactly how much of an advantage Mercedes are set to gain from this system and this question may be left unanswered for a while.
However, the day ended prematurely for Mercedes when they had issues with the ERS (energy recovery system).
There was much more focus on long runs yesterday and so the lap times were not as quick overall as they were on Day 2. The fastest man was Kimi Raikkonen, who used the softest compound available – the C5 tyre – to set a 1:17.091 in his Alfa Romeo. Sergio Perez set the pace early on again in his Racing Point and finish second, 0.256 seconds behind Raikkonen. These are encouraging signs for both teams.
Williams continue to show signs of improvement with yet another good day even if they were side-lined for a bit while repairing some electrical damage. George Russell completed 116 laps and set a fastest time of a 1:18.2, just one tenth shy of his fastest lap yesterday.
Join The Roar tonight for the final eight hours of the first pre-season test from 7:00pm (AEDT).