When a car is chosen as the official Formula 1 safety car, it has to be quick. Heading a field of dedicated race cars which can sprint from 0-100km/h in under three seconds is no mean feat, so it comes as no surprise that Mercedes-Benz’s latest sports car, the SLS AMG, has been chosen as this year’s official safety car for Formula 1.
The main differences between this and the road car you’ll be able to buy in Australian showrooms for around half a million dollars, are the carbon-fibre mirrors, the F1 logos dotted about the place, and the LED light bar, with integrated TV camera. There’s also a new carbon-fibre bonnet, not that you’d realise, as it’s painted.
There’s a pretty flash numberplate comprising 700 LEDs which illuminates the words “safety car” to be visible during all light conditions. Although, if the F1 drivers forgot which was the safety car, it’d be a bit of a worry.
Bernd Mayländer, a 38-year-old German race driver, will be behind the wheel of the safety car, with Volker Mornhinweg, Chief Executive Officer of Mercedes-AMG GmbH, effusive about his car being chosen.
“Together with the entire AMG Team, I am very proud that the new SLS AMG is the official F1 safety car. I’m sure all Mercedes and AMG fans will be excited to see the gullwing model together with the new Mercedes GP Petronas Team at the F1 circuits”, said Mr Mornhinweg.
The C 63 AMG Estate also returns as the official medical car for Formula 1 races.