Mercedes hope DAS debate won't impact Austrian GP as FIA dismiss Red Bull protest

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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff hopes the debate over DAS won't overshadow this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix.

On Friday, Red Bull officially protested to the FIA over the controversial Dual-Axis Steering system, arguing it contravened regulations related to aerodynamic influence and the ability to adjust the suspension while the car is in motion.

However, after a lengthy period of debate, the stewards dismissed Red Bull's case, stating DAS is part of the steering system and therefore satisfies the regulations that were put forward.

What's interesting, however, is that arguments have long been made clear by the FIA, and therefore the point of Red Bull's protest might actually have been to gain clarifications, with the team understood to have its own version in the works.

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There are still possible questions over whether DAS breaks sporting regulations related to adjusting suspensions under Parc Ferme conditions, something that could potentially be protested against on Saturday.

But speaking ahead of this weekend's season opener in Spielberg, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff hoped all questions would bee answered before the chequered flag on Sunday.

“There was a lot of talking and exchange with the FIA, that is the reason why we have it on the car. So we will both bring our arguments forward and then let’s see,” he said on why he was confident of DAS' legality.

“I think, against what you would expect, all teams are pretty much aware that we are in a sensitive situation with going racing.

“It’s the first race. I think on one side, it’s fair enough to seek clarification, on the other side we are aware that we don’t want to end up with a big debate on Sunday night. So I think Red Bull is going to take [and] Christian is going to take the right actions.

“Controversy and different judgement on engineering innovation has always been part of Formula 1. This is what’s to be expected in a way. It’s part of the racing.”

Of course, from next year, the DAS debate will be gone as, while the FIA are permitting it for 2020, it has already been banned in 2021.