Banned: F1's novel steering solutions

Forbidden: The new steering solutions from F1
Steering is an area of ​​the car where engineers have tried to explore the limits, trying different solutions - and many of them were later banned. Here we take a look at some of the best known examples.
When Mercedes first introduced its DAS system (two-axis steering) in the tests before the season, it gave us an insight into the mindset of today's Formula 1 engineers.
While the rules that define the current F1 vehicles must be followed, the most creative engineers will find ways to interpret these rules to innovate and achieve a higher level of performance for the vehicle.
While DAS is the latest example of designers offering a solution to drive the car in an unconventional way, it's not the first.
In the early 1990s, Williams had experienced a spell of superiority, and it seemed that everything he touched turned gold.
In response to rumors that Williams had planned to expand its impressive arsenal of electronic aids with a rear wheel steering system for 1994, the Benetton team upgraded its B193C test mule with a rough rear wheel steering setup for a test in Estoril.
Forbidden: The new steering solutions from F1
In his book The Mechanic's Tale, Steve Matchett notes that "the car certainly didn't need it" and the results were inconclusive as to whether it would improve performance, but the team decided to do further research in the last two races at Suzuka and Adelaide.
"It was as if the engineers really wanted to produce the sophisticated Grand Prix car in the pit lane before the end of the year," Matchett said. "I think it was the wrong decision, and I think it was a decision that was determined more by the ego than by any principle of mechanical engineering."
The system could be deactivated and if the hydraulic lines were damaged, a fail safe would return the wheels to the straight ahead position. It was tested on the cars by Michael Schumacher and Riccardo Patrese during the free practice session, with the chassis name changed to B193C - Matchett notes: "I don't think anyone took note of the new suffix" - but despite the problem-free running, not for them Race activated.
These attempts proved reason enough for the governing body to ban all-wheel steering before the 1994 season before the training got out of control, along with a number of other driver aids.
For 1998, McLaren added a switch in the cockpit that allowed the driver to choose which of the rear brakes would apply the pedal
McLaren found another way to drive the car later this decade, and added an additional pedal that controls the rear caliper on one side of the car and helps pivot the car when braking.
This brake steering solution was used in the final stages of 1997 and until 1998, before it was discovered by photographer Darren Heath, who found that the brakes were glowing when they weren't supposed to in corners.
Heath took his chance at the Luxembourg GP when both McLarens retired and he got a shot in the footwell of Hakkinen's cockpit, revealing the slim additional pedal on the left.
The additional pedal was adjusted so that more pressure had to be applied to it so that it could not be used accidentally. It provided a way to balance the car when the driver switched from the main brake pedal.
Forbidden: The new steering solutions from F1
This not only helped the driver find out the car's inherent understeer, but also had an aerodynamic advantage. Since the rear of the car is now partially responsible for turning, the front wheels steered less, reducing the wake swirl caused by the front wheels.
For 1998 McLaren had improved its original system because it had previously only had to brake one rear wheel with the third brake. However, a switch was added in the cockpit that allowed the driver to choose which of the rear brakes would apply the pedal.
Further banned innovations in F1
Flexible wings
The double diffuser
Renault mass damper
Mercedes double DRS
Fraud of the minimum weight rules
F1 2010 F channel
The system was banned after it was discovered, and the other teams are committed to its removal because it is an all-wheel steering system.
The arrival of DAS during pre-season testing earlier this year shows that despite the most stringent regulatory constraints ever seen, teams can still more than out-maneuver regulators.
James Allison, Mercedes technical director, recently discussed the origins of DAS in a Q&A on the team's YouTube channel and suggested that the team actually wanted to launch it one season earlier.
After talking to the FIA, however, the board of directors was not satisfied with how Mercedes had planned the driver's deployment.
During the questions and answers, Allison confirmed that the original design had a paddle on the steering wheel as the control mechanism, rather than pushing and pulling on the steering wheel.
Forbidden: The new steering solutions from F1
The more complicated steering column mechanism came about as a result of a consultation phase with the FIA, which Allison said was likely to be too challenging to overcome and would likely result in Mercedes dropping the idea entirely.
However, Mercedes decided differently, as Allison explained.
"We have a very inventive chief designer, John Owen, and he looked at this challenge once," he said. "He has a really good gut feeling about whether something is feasible or not, and that's a really helpful feature, because it allows us to spend money quite bravely when most people feel that the result is pretty uncertain.
"John accepted this challenge, figured that he could do it, provided it to our very talented group of mechanics, and between them they worked out two or three ways that this could be done.
"We picked the most likely of these three and launched the DAS system you saw earlier this season about a year later."
Other teams have spoken out against using the system, and Red Bull even said it would protest in Australia if the race had taken place.
From a regulatory perspective, however, Mercedes can use its DAS system until 2020 - unless Red Bull or another team questions its legality with the stewards.
The rules were changed as early as 2021, which means that the use of DAS is banned regardless.
Forbidden: The new steering solutions from F1
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