Lewis Hamilton hopes Mercedes will gain a significant edge this season thanks to its ingenious ‘Dual Axis Steering’ system mounted on its new W11.
Mercedes pulled the DAS device out of its hat in pre-season testing but hasn’t offered much insight into the device’s benefits which appear to range from tyre temperature management to drag reduction on the straights.
Hamilton himself says he doesn’t know exactly where or at what moment over a race weekend the DAS shall be deployed but the six-time world champion hopes it will prove beneficial.
“Hopefully it’ll make a huge difference,” he said in Barcelona this week.
“At the moment I don’t really use it a lot to be honest. Sometimes you practice with it, sometimes without it. I don’t know how much we’ll be using it.”
Beyond the DAS’ benefits, which Hamilton feels are real, the Briton admitted to being in awe of Mercedes’ engineering genius.
“I’m just generally really proud of the guys. Honestly I think our whole mentality continues to progress and improve,” he said.
“Over the years we become more and more open-minded.
“Engineers are often quite closed-minded and stick to doing the same things they’ve done in the past because it’s safe and its the reliable way because it’s worked before.
But over the last couple of years I’ve really been pushing the guys into areas of where they are not so comfortable, and we’ve discovered things we would never had if we hadn’t done that.
“It was really awesome to break them a bit and open them up to new ideas and that’s what also has enabled us to do things like this.
“I think it’s really inspiring to see them continuing to innovate ahead of everybody else. That’s a good thing for us.”
As a reminder, the FIA has allowed DAS for 2020 only. The system, which could be adopted later in the year by other teams with the resource to develop it, has been banned for 2021.