Formula 1

Red Bull Files Protest Against Mercedes at F1 Season Opener

By: Ashley McCubbin

The first official practice laps of the 2020 Formula 1 season have finally been turned, and there’s always drama brewing.

On Friday following the second practice for the Austrian Grand Prix, Red Bull has filed a protest against Mercedes in relation to their Dual Axis Steering System (DAS). Notably, Mercedes led both sessions with Lewis Hamilton ahead of Valtteri Bottas.

Mercedes debuted the feature during pre-season testing back in February, catching the attention of several teams in the process. At the time Technical Director James Allison said, “The rules are pretty clear about what’s permitted on steering systems and we’re pretty confident that it matches those requirements.”

Although already banned from 2021 onwards, Christian Horner believes the system currently is a breach of the Technical Regulations, specifically article 3.8 which refers to aerodynamic influence and article 10.2.3, which states “no adjustment may be made to any suspension system while the car is in motion”.

In response to the protest filed, both teams must report to the race stewards at 1910 local time to discuss the matter. If the car is deemed not legal, Mercedes will be required to remove the system before the third practice session. However if they state otherwise, it could open the door for the other teams to introduce a system of their own, namely Red Bull who said they would.

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