According to Mercedes, its controversial DAS system played no role in the fatal late punctures suffered by the team’ s two cars on Sunday.
During the British Grand Prix, several drivers – including Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas – suffered a sudden puncture on the left front tyre at the end of the race.
Pirelli gave the conclusions of his investigation into Sunday’s succession of punctures during the race, explaining that an unusually long final stint and “the greatest forces ever seen on the tyres” were behind the series of punctures in the final laps.
However, some observers wondered whether Mercedes’ DAS could have caused a puncture on the two black cars, particularly as the system allows the driver to influence the front wheel toe-in angle while driving.
But Mercedes insisted on reacting quickly by ensuring that the drivers only used the DAS at the start of the race last Sunday, insisting that the system had therefore played no role in these sudden punctures.
“There have been a lot of questions this year about the DAS, especially for this race, as to whether or not it contributed to the [tyre] failure.” said James Vowles, chief strategist, in his traditional debriefing video.
“I can tell you categorically that the answer is no and there are several reasons for that. The first is that it was never really used before the failure and in fact it was only really used in the early stages of the race, that’s all. ”
“We also saw that Carlos [Sainz] also had a puncture and they don’t use a DAS on their car. ”
“A number of other competitors also complained about the vibrations that Valtteri had, so it wasn’t just about us. ”
Mercedes drivers only use the DAS at specific times during the race weekend, notably at the start of the race or during a preparation lap in qualifying.