The 2015 Formula One season brings with it a new safety car and medical car in the form of a Mercedes-AMG GT S and Mercedes-AMG C63 S.
Replacing the current gullwing Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT, the Mercedes-AMG GT S is powered by a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine that produces 375kW of power and 650Nm of torque. It’s also capable of a 0-100km/h sprint of just 3.8 seconds and then on to a top speed of 309km/h — suitable for the F1 circuit.
Keeping with tradition, the only difference between the Mercedes-AMG GT S used on the F1 circuit and the one sold in showrooms is the roof-mounted light bar. It was designed and engineered to provide minimum wind resistance and maintain aerodynamics during high-speeds – which may be asked of it at any time during a race.
The GT S safety car will be driven by Bernd Maylander with his passenger, Peter Tibbetts, staying in touch with race control and monitoring race conditions using an in-car iPad.
“The gull-wing SLS AMG was my official car in Formula One for five years,” Maylander said.
“Now I’m looking forward to the new Mercedes-AMG GT S, which I have been fortunate enough to get to know during its development phase. The new AMG sports car won me over immediately with its high-calibre race track performance.”
The lead medical car has also been updated, this time to the new Mercedes-AMG C63 S, which is also powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine producing 375kW of power. It’s heavier than the GT S, so it only manages the 0-100km/h dash in 4.1 seconds — still an incredibly quick time.
Alan van der Merwe drives the medical car, while the FIA’s head physician Dr Ian Roberts is his passenger. The rear seats and cargo hold have space for two additional medics and medical equipment. Part of the medical arsenal includes an respirator and life-saving defibrillator.
Mercedes-Benz has had a long history with F1 and safety cars, in particular:
1996: C 36 AMG
1997: CLK 55 AMG
2000: CL 55 AMG
2001: SL 55 AMG
2003: CLK 55 AMG
2004: SLK 55 AMG
2006: CLK 63 AMG
2008: SL 63 AMG
2010: SLS AMG
2012 (Belgian GP onwards): SLS AMG GT
2015: GT S
Which car would you love to see leading the F1 pack as official safety car?