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Red Bull seeking clarification on Mercedes steering system

SPIELBERG, Austria (Reuters) - Red Bull are seeking clarification from Formula One’s governing body about a controversial new Dual Axis Steering (DAS) system being used by champions Mercedes at this weekend’s Austrian season-opener, team boss Christian Horner said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1 - Russian Grand Prix - Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia - September 28, 2019 Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

Mercedes confirmed they were running the system at the Red Bull Ring.

The governing FIA has said the system will not be allowed next year, despite the cars remaining essentially the same due to new rules being postponed to 2022, but have not banned it for 2020.

“It’s a complicated system, a clever system and obviously we’re after some clarifications from the FIA, just start raising some questions about it,” Horner told Sky F1 television when asked whether Red Bull had their own version.

“It depends what it actually does and achieves. Everything has to earn its place on the car... these rules are so complex, it’s just understanding which parts of the regulations it fits,” he added.

The DAS system allows a driver to change the ‘toe angle’ of the front wheels by pushing and pulling on the steering wheel, rather than just moving it sideways.

Austria will be the first opportunity for Mercedes to race with it, having tried it out in testing in February, and also for teams to lodge a protest against it if so-minded.

Formula One has a long-established process for challenging innovations that exploit loopholes in the rules, with teams making a protest to race stewards and presenting their arguments.

The stewards then make a ruling, which can in turn be appealed.

Mercedes, with six times world champion Lewis Hamilton, are chasing a seventh successive title double this season. Red Bull were third overall last year but could be the German manufacturer’s biggest challengers in 2020.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Toby Davis

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