Mercedes have moved to clarify rumours about their steering system, in the wake of broadcast footage that raised eyebrows during the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend.
Over the weekend, eagle-eyed viewers of Lewis Hamilton's onboard camera spotted that the reigning World Champion appeared to be pulling backwards on his steering wheel as he approached braking areas around Interlagos. As this would be against the direction of the force applied during the braking phase, it would rule out the possibility of Hamilton simply bracing himself for the high G-forces.
Conspiracy theories abounded on social media as a result, given that the controversial DAS (Dual-Axis Steering) system that Mercedes had in 2020, which utilised the same activation mechanism, was banned for 2021.
A Mercedes spokesperson told RacingNews365.com that the conspiracy theories are just that, given that the steering systems have been homologated all year and cannot be modified. The spokesperson stressed that the only plane in which the wheel moves is left to right.
Given the footage seen on the broadcasts, and the ruling out of the steering wheel controlling anything other than steering, the next question is what the purpose is of Hamilton's unusual handling of the steering, or whether it was an optical illusion.
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