Red Bull seek clarification on Mercedes steering system as F1 returns in Austria - in pictures

Season restarts after prolonged break with free practice at Austrian Grand Prix on Friday

Red Bull are seeking clarification from Formula One's governing body about a 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.

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.

"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.

Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton unveiled a new 'Black Lives Matter' helmet design on Friday as Formula One roared back to life in the Styrian Alps in opening practice at the belated season-opening Austrian Grand Prix.

The six-time champion, who has been an outspoken supporter of the campaign for equality and diversity since the death of American George Floyd last month, revealed the statement helmet before climbing into his Mercedes in anger for the first time this year.

Hamilton was slow to join the early fray in earnest in the first free practice, not clocking a 'timed' lap until 30 minutes into the 90-minute session, but he swiftly went top of the times half a second clear of Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

Published: July 3, 2020 03:07 PM

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