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Ocon: I didn't know about Mercedes' DAS system

  • Published on 24 Mar 2020 10:29
  • comments 0
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Esteban Ocon claims that he was unaware of the Dual Axis Steering (DAS) system Mercedes introduced for the 2020 Formula 1 season.

At pre-season testing, the Silver Arrows made headlines when its steering wheel made fore and aft movements with commands from the driver.

Doing so changed the toe angle of the W11, leaving Mercedes' rivals scratching their hands and wondering over its legality.

Ocon spent the 2019 season with Mercedes as its reserve driver before moving to Renault in 2020 as a full-time driver alongside Daniel Ricciardo. 

Despite the time he spent with the German manufacturer over the last 12 months, he claims that he was in the dark over the DAS system.

“I didn't, I swear I didn't!” he told French broadcaster Canal+ when asked if he knew about the system ahead of the 2020 campaign.

"Either they were very, very clever and didn't show me the effect of the system or they came up with it very late and designed it once I was gone, once I was stuck between Renault and Mercedes.

"After the end of the season, I wasn't allowed to go back to the factory, I wasn't allowed to come back and work on the simulator. Either it was then or they were very clever. But I think they more likely came up with the system at the end of the year, when I left."

Ocon made his on-track debut for Renault at post-season testing in Abu Dhabi last December before starting preparations for his full-time comeback.

However, it is not yet known when he will make his race debut for the Enstone-based outfit, as the season continues to be delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

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