Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has commented on the fuss around his steering wheel after video footage emerged at the Brazilian Grand Prix and led to suggestions of a special system being used.
A host of theories emerged on social media after footage from Hamilton's onboard camera appeared to show him pulling backwards on his steering wheel as he approached braking areas around Interlagos.
Mercedes moved to shut down these theories, noting that the steering systems have been homologated all year and cannot be modified, while stressing that the only plane in which the wheel moves is left to right.
"It doesn't move forwards and backwards"
Speaking ahead of this weekend's Qatar Grand Prix, Hamilton has explained that there was "a little bit of play" in his steering column in Brazil, which led to mechanics making changes.
"The steering column… It doesn't move forwards and backwards," stated Hamilton, when asked by RacingNews365.com what was going on with his steering wheel, and how it felt to drive the car.
"Before the last… I think on Saturday, there was a little bit of play in it, but like, less than a millimetre, probably, that I don't like, so they had to change the column, and then there was no play."
Not a return of DAS
Mercedes stole a march on their rivals in 2020 when they introduced DAS (Dual-Axis Steering), which improved straight-line speed, while generating improved grip and tyre wear, a system that was subsequently banned for 2021.
Hamilton made clear: "We had that [DAS] last year. We don't have it now."
Hamilton claimed victory in Brazil to cut Max Verstappen's title lead to 14 points, though their wheel-to-wheel battle in last Sunday's race is the subject of a stewards' hearing at the Losail International Circuit on Thursday.
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