F1 2020: Mercedes’ DAS will revolutionise setups in Codemasters games
The reigning champions had another trick up their sleeve in testing, but can we use it at home?
Formula One is back, and as ever there is some controversy over technical innovations that teams have struck upon over the winter.
Unsurprisingly, it was Mercedes that broke the F1 internet with their latest steering masterstroke.
Onboard footage showed Lewis Hamilton pulling his steering wheel toward him, which actively changed the toe of the front wheels.
While this caused several raised eyebrows among Ferrari and a round of applause from Hamilton fans, the impact for gamers could be even bigger than on the F1 2020 championship.
Suspension Geometry headache
For the last few versions of Codemasters’ brilliant F1 series, the best way to a searingly hot time trial lap was to push your camber all the way to the right, and your toe all the way to the left.
Toe is all about responsiveness. On an F1 car, the front tyres are set to toe-out, with the leading edge of the tyres pointing away from each other. This improves cornering as it gets the slip angles of the front tyres in a more optimal position but comes at the cost of some resistance on the straights.
READ MORE: Everything there is to know about F1 2020
Finding the balance for your toe and camber is always a pain for drivers in F1 games, as it is directly related to tyre wear and overall performance. Extract too much performance from the rubber and you will melt the tyres long before your scheduled pitstop, but be too cautious and you’ll be well off the pace. This is where DAS comes in.
What is DAS?
DAS stands for “Dual Axis Steering”. Quite how this new system works no one outside of the Mercedes factory in Brackley quite knows, but the effect and reasoning behind it is clear.
Activated by pulling the steering wheel toward the driver, DAS reduces the toe out of the front wheels when activated down a long straight, helping cool the front tyres, creating less friction and drag which improves performance.
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This doesn’t just mean added performance on the straights though. It means you can add some toe out to the front tyres to get more responsiveness in corners than normal, changing the window for optimal geometry settings.
Will we see DAS in F1 2020?
It is highly unlikely that Codemasters will be able to add DAS to F1 2020. The system was only unveiled last week in the first Winter Test, and it is sure to come under legal challenge from Ferrari and Red Bull at some point.
Codemasters already have their hands full getting the Dutch and Vietnam Grand Prix into the game, so producing a one-off system like this which will have to find space on an already busy UI is going to be extremely tricky.