Bottas: Mercedes will need to ‘calculate’ risk of DAS protest

Valtteri Bottas says Mercedes intends to use its DAS system in the Formula 1 opener in Australia, but admits the team will have to assess the possibility of a rival team protest.

Since the Dual Axis Steering system’s first appearance in Barcelona testing, there have been hints that a protest could be lodged in Melbourne. If that happens before the race, Mercedes might be obliged not to run it for the rest of the weekend.

“I’m sure we’ll be DAS-ing some of the straights,” Bottas said. “It depends which kind of laps, and which sessions, and so on.

“But we’re still happy to have it in the car. We hope it can give an advantage, but again, we will see.”

Regarding the threat of a protest, he said: “Well, I’m sure we will have to wait for what happens, but like I said earlier we would we would be happy to run it, but it is up to the team to calculate the possible risk of it being taken away.

“In short answer, yes, we would like to keep it, but if there’s a big risk we don’t, there is no big problem then.”

Asked if it would be deployed in qualifying he said: “That is something we would need to see in practice. Most likely yes, we’ll use it in qualifying.”

Bottas is confident that Mercedes has successfully addressed the engine issues that were apparent in Barcelona testing.

“I think we made most out of testing. It is quite normal that it does not run 100%, and you do find things that you can do better from testing to the first race, and with engine issues.

“Yes, we’ve looked into those and done everything we can to make sure that we can run as much power as we can with good reliability. For sure, good learnings from there. I feel confident, I really trust the team on that. But I guess we’ll find out as the season goes on.”

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