Mercedes downplay DAS advantage: 'It's the overall package that's crucial'

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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has downplayed the advantage offered by DAS, insisting the whole car is more important.

During the first week of winter testing, the Brackley-based team caught the eye when Lewis Hamilton was seen activating the Dual-Axis Steering device by pulling the steering wheel towards him on the straight.

This had the effect of straightening the toe angle of the front wheels, and after the FIA declared it legal for this season, some have speculated it could be a game-changer for Mercedes.

“We don’t want to reveal too much about it yet, but whoever thinks it will give us two seconds is wrong,” Wolff was quoted by Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

“It is one of many innovations on the new car and ultimately, it is the overall package that is crucial.”

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Indeed, Williams driver George Russell, who has tested for Mercedes as a junior driver, teased there's a lot more trickery in the car than just DAS.

“I think the DAS system is only the tip of the iceberg for Mercedes. I was part of the team for a long time and I saw what they were doing before I went to Williams,” he told Sky Sports.

“It's great to see what those guys are doing and there are many more things they are doing that are similar to DAS, we just can't see it with the naked eye.

"When I saw the DAS system, I thought, 'wow, they kind of embarrass us a bit like that.' I also think Mercedes will be at the top again this year."