Ocon had no idea about Mercedes' DAS, questions development timeline

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Esteban Ocon has cast doubt on Mercedes' claim their new DAS system had been a long-term project after denying any prior knowledge of it.

The Brackley-based squad shocked the paddock during testing when Lewis Hamilton was seen using the 'Dual-Axis Steering' for the first time by pulling the steering wheel towards him to toe-in the front tyres on the straights.

Despite questions over legality, which Red Bull still have and would have posed by way of a protest in Australia, Mercedes say they had worked with the FIA during its development to ensure it was within the rules, but if that was the case, surely Ocon would have known about it too?

"Guess what? I didn't, I swear I didn't!" the Frenchman, now at Renault, told Canal Plus.

"Either they were very, very clever and didn't show me the impact of the system or they came up with it very late and designed it once I was gone, once I was stuck between Renault and Mercedes.

Also Read:

"After the end of the season, I wasn't allowed to go back to the factory, I wasn't allowed to come back and work on the simulator. Either it was then, or they were very clever.

"But I think they more likely came up with the system at the end of the year when I left."

Of course, it is possible Ocon too is bluffing after it emerged he had reached an agreement with Mercedes on what secrets he could share and those he could not at Renault.

And with DAS now set to be legal until the end of 2021, if he did know about it, then the Enstone-based squad could well pressure him to tell all.

Perhaps adding to that theory is Ocon's own admission that anything on the 2020 car would have been run on the same simulator he completed hours and hours on last year.

"Without any doubt, they tested it in the simulator, as all parts go there before being run on the track," he noted.