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In 2020, Mercedes implemented the DAS system in their W11 Formula 1 car. The system, which alters the toe angle of the front wheels through the steering wheel being pushed backwards and forwards, was protested against by Red Bull.

What were the advantages of that system that made other teams protest this? Does this system give more grip?

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Formula One cars usually run with "toe out" at the front, meaning that the wheels aren't perfectly straight but instead splayed out slightly, with the front of the tyre pointing slightly away from the car.

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This improves the car's performance when it first turns into a corner, but also causes the front tyres to heat up unevenly, with the inner edge of the tyre heating up faster than the rest of it. This can lead to parts of the tyre becoming too hot or too cold, affecting both grip and tyre wear.

With DAS, Mercedes were able to switch to a neutral toe angle while on the straights, allowing the tyres to be heated evenly, then switch back to a toe-out while cornering for improved handling.

So DAS didn't provide more grip, but it did make the Mercedes W11 more efficient at warming its tyres up while preventing them from overheating, especially on circuits with long straights. Given Mercedes' dominance during 2020 - scoring as many points as the next two teams combined - the results speak for themselves.

[Info from this F1 article, image from this Autosport article.]

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