The dual axis steering (DAS) system pioneered by Mercedes will not be allowed in Formula 1 for 2021, despite the decision to carry over the current regulations.
The FIA had outlawed the system in the original 2021 regulations, which were deferred to the following season earlier this month.
But the FIA has now confirmed that the DAS, which allows the driver to adjust the toe of the car by moving the steering wheel forwards and backwards, will be banned under the carried-over 2020 technical regulations thanks to a modification that appears in the newly-published 2021 rules.
This is achieved by the addition of Article 10.4.2 in the section covering the steering systems, which is identical to the one that appears in what are now the 2022 regulations.
This article states: “The re-alignment of the steered wheels must be uniquely defined by a monotonic function of the rotation of a single steering wheel about a single axis.
“Furthermore, the inboard attachment points of the suspensions members connected to the steering system must remain a fixed distance from each other and can only translate in the direction normal to the car centre plane.”
The rest of the steering regulations remain unchanged, save for the articles being re-numbered thanks to the addition of 10.4.2.
The rule banning DAS was included in the original 2021 regulations as the FIA was aware of the Mercedes design before it made its first appearance in pre-season testing.
Mercedes had therefore committed to running DAS for a year before it was made illegal, while rival teams are known to be evaluating their own versions of the system.
Uncertainty surrounding the start of the 2020 campaign, combined with the confirmation it definitely can’t run in 2021, means teams will be unsure what benefit they would gain from producing their own.
Red Bull is unable to replicate the system with its current car design, as explained here.