Toe Angles and Mercedes’ DAS system

before this video starts I'm just gonna let you know there's a little competition at the end of this video so stick around for that you can win this poster print from GP box ha Mercedes made all the headlines on day two of winter testing last week when they revealed they developed a dual axis steering or das system which changed not just the steering angle of the wheels but the tow angle between them to help understand why the system is so beneficial we need to go over what tow is Celeste what we're gonna do in this video tow is technically a part of the suspension setup that will be adjusted for each particular track it describes the angle of the wheels relative to the perfect straight forward direction of the car so wheels with zero tow will point straight ahead wheels with positive tow will point inwards towards the centerline of the car wheels with negative tow will splay outwards like this now I'm using extreme angles here to demonstrate the point clearly in reality of differences between tow setups will be a matter of maybe two degrees either way at most so what are the effects of tow common sense would have you think just get the wheels pointing parallel with zero tow and then get the moving left and right together as you steer the wheel when Earth would you point them off-center well there are quite a few things that are affected by tow angle or tow distance as you can measure the toes are difference between these two distances if you prefer the first thing affected by tow angle is tire where this should become quite apparent if you think about it with zero toe the front wheels are pointed straight ahead so as you drive the car forward the front wheels are just rolling freely on their axle if the tires are splayed out the inside will be dragging somewhat along the track heating and wearing the inside of the tread similarly if the tires are toe in the outside of the tire tread will be dragging somewhat along the tract causing temperature and wear issues that will need to be managed now again I've exaggerated the angles and with only a degree of toe these problems aren't as catastrophic but still need to be taken into account to minimize wear you'd probably want to keep zero toe particularly on the straights again all things being equal zero toe will give you the best straight-line speed if you introduced toe angles to your front wheels they want to go in slightly different directions and straight ahead so you're essentially wasting power dragging them along the track instead of free rolling as previously it may only end up being a matter of a few kilometers an hour but anyone familiar Formula One knows that the little things soon add up thirdly cornering agility and handling now we move into an area where 0-2 might not be your best friend let's think about what happens when you turn a corner let's imagine you driving your f1 car into and around a right-hand turn your front wheel should trace out curves something like this what's important to realize is the inside tire is always tracing a tighter curve than the outside tire you know as the turning radius gets tighter and tighter so you have to steer more and more so ideally on the inside tire to be more angled through the corner than the outside tire this allows both tires to move closely through their turning curves maximizing their grip and increasing your speed and stability through the corner you can achieve this by angling your front wheel toe outwards straight on yes the tires look weird and splayed again exaggerated here but once you turn the steering world to drive through the corner inside wheel is now more aggressively angled to take the tighter line while the outside tire is more gently angled to take the wider outside path Turing your wheels inwards makes the car less planted through turns as the car is more reluctant to turn as the closer you get one tire to the correct steering angle the more you point the other one away from it causing drag and resistance at the front end of the car this leads us neatly to the last major effect of tow which is straight-line stability let's put our cars back on a long straight but think about what we just said about cornering so out makes the car absolutely ready to turn as soon as you start to angle the steering of the wheels are toed so they encourage the car to turn in with the inside wheel angled more aggressively to take the title line this means while the car will keep pointing straight as long as you hold the steering straight down the middle the moment you make a slight adjustment away from Center the car is more sensitive to start turning and holding the steering perfectly centered can be difficult when the car is bumping around or one tire hits a crack in the road little disturbances make the car want to hike itself left and right conversely when the front wheels are toed in they are reluctant to they respond much more lazily to steering inputs which means the car will remain stable on straights even if bumps and such disturbances jostle the steering around now normally teams lock in a tow setting that's the best trade-off between tire wear straight-line speed cornering speed and straight-line stability as determined by the track and other parts of the suspension design and setup most setups are a matter of trade-off where gains in one area result in losses in others but what Mercedes have now managed to do without apparently breaking the rules is to give the drivers the power to adjust the tow angle while driving by pulling back and pushing forward on the steering wheel the dual axis steering system allows the driver to pull back on the steering wheel to bring the toe in and push it forward to pull the toe out this has a number of ramifications the obvious one being they can straighten up the tires for the straights to increase their speed and reduce wear etc what also pulling the tail out for the corners to increase handling and speed a really simplified version of all of the above is zero toe for good straights negative toe for corners Mercedes can handle that but of course toe isn't just a matter of being in or out there are fine adjustments in between all corners are different if Mercedes drivers get a good feel for the das they can try and get the toe as close to perfect for every type of corner a tighter corner would benefit from a more dramatic toe out as the relative difference between the inner and outer lines is more pronounced and on another note I have sort of spoken about rising tire temperatures as if they're a bad thing but getting heat into the rubber is an important part of performance and getting the right amount of heat across the whole tire is particularly important as mentioned when the tires are toe out they tend to overly heat the inside rubber and vice versa with toe in but the Mercedes drivers could potentially fiddle with this on the straights to balance the temperatures across the tires this is particularly useful on out laps to prepare the tires for a hot lap but even if they're told mid race to the outside rubber is getting a little cold they can add a little toe in to try and help that part of the tire get back into the sweet spot this is a clever innovative system it's not going to be the be-all and end-all of their competitive car but it will help Mercedes particularly across race distances when managing the performance of their tires and this is a one year only thing as they're all for 2021 appeared not to allow for such systems so enjoy it while it lasts and let's see if any other teams can squeeze their own version in during the season somehow so I told you you could win this print of the wonderful Jordan 1:9 one possibly one of the most aesthetically pleasing Formula one cars in history this is made by the brilliant Omak designs who has a shop over at GP box so to win this it's gonna sound complicated to win this you're gonna go to his storefront which I'll give you the link to in the description find a print you really like put a link to it in one of the comments with hashtag GP box under this video and then just say why you like it and then the window will be picked randomly and revealed at the end of the f1 predictions video which will be coming out at the weekend got all that go to your storefront find something you really like put the link to it in the description under this video with the hashtag GP box unless I can't find it and you'll be selected randomly to win this that's it [Music] [Music]