Mercedes has decided to continue working on its controversial Dual Axle Steering (DAS) system, despite being banned from next season onwards.
The system was unveiled by the team during pre-season testing in Barcelona last February, which allows drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas to change the toe angle by moving the steering wheel forwards and backwards while on track.
Red Bull then launched an official protest into the system during the first race in Austria, but it was confirmed by the FIA that the system was declared legal.
It is understood the team has been using the system in the Mercedes W11 to allow the drivers with tyre warm-up during qualifying and formation laps, as well as race restarts.
During the recent Hungarian Grand Prix, Hamilton was instructed by race engineer Peter Bonnington over team radio to use DAS on his qualifying out laps as a means to extensively heat the tyres on the twisty circuit.
With the system being banned from 2021 onwards, the intention was to stop other teams developing a similar system at the expense of resources and finance, as F1 moves towards a budget cap for the coming years.
Speaking recently to Autosport, Mercedes technical director James Allison admits that they are still relatively unsure about the system, and hoped to work on it to extract anything that could be of use in future designs.
"I think that for us, it's still a very new system," Allison explained.
"Precisely how, where and when we get the most opportunity from it is, to some degree, continuing to be a voyage of discovery for us. The manner in which we develop it is still open for us as the season goes on.
"So it's not a closed book, and we hope to get more from it if we can learn quickly in the coming races."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing