Mercedes-AMG's "Dual-Axis Steering" Is the Wildest F1 Innovation We've Seen in a Long Time

Formula 1 teams will go through great lengths to subvert rules and regulations to gain even the slightest advantage. This latest feature, spotted on Lewis Hamilton’s 2020 Mercedes-AMG Petronas W11 on day two of testing in Barcelona, appears to allow the driver to manually adjust the front wheel’s toe while on the move. It’s the wildest innovation we’ve seen in the sport in a long while.

Mercedes hasn’t revealed any official details on how what is calls “dual-axis steering” (DAS) works, but essentially, it operates with the driver physically moving the steering wheel forward or backward on the column, which somehow shifts the toe of the front wheels in or out at the same time. While Mercedes hasn’t explicitly said what the system is for, the benefits are obvious: In corners, the driver can have tires that point farther outward for better turn in, and and more inward on the straights for better stability and tire wear. Here’s the system in action:

Mercedes’ mysterious steering mode 🧐⁣ ⁣ Go to F1.com or visit the Official F1 app to find out why this is this talk of the paddock on the second day of #F1Testing 📲 ⁣ ⁣ #F1 #Formula1 #Motorsports #Mercedes #LewisHamilton #Innovation

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It wasn’t long before the paddock became suspicious. The rules clearly state no suspension changes can be made while the car is in motion, and that any “device” capable of altering the the suspension or affecting its performance is forbidden. In an interview with Motorsport.com, however, Mercedes designer James Allison said the team is “pretty confident” the system is legal.

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