Aware that the Eifel GP weekend would take place in temperatures between 8 and 10 degrees C, many drivers feared that were the safety car to be deployed on Sunday, their tyre temperatures would be compromised as they continued at non-racing speeds.
“It is fair to say we used DAS more than ever this weekend,” explains chief strategist, James Vowles in the team’s late debrief. “In free practice, on single lap work, in qualifying but also during the race.
“In terms of where we used it in the race it was on the formation lap,” he continues, “but also when we were behind the Safety Car, where we had a number of laps circulating on tyres that were just getting colder and colder.
“I think it is fair to say DAS was a contributing factor to why our restart was so good and really came into its own this weekend,” he admits.”
Heading out to the grid, Hamilton asked why, having felt there was excessive play in the system on Saturday, it hadn’t been changed. The team responsded, telling him that this was not allowed under parc ferme conditions.
“He had play within the steering column and the whole steering system was moving backwards and forwards just a small amount,” explains Vowles. “This is a performance factor, as you are cornering you are trying to feel the limit of tyres, having any movement in the steering column whatsoever will cause you to not be sure whether it’s the car moving, the tyres moving or something else.
“However, it wasn’t a safety concern; at no time did we have any concern whatsoever for the system.
“It’s something we noticed on Saturday but the parc ferme regulations state that unless the component is broken you can’t replace it, which is why Lewis had to race with it, and he did a great job considering the amount of difficult conditions we had in that race.”