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Who is this man? Safety-car driver Bernd Mayländer is a legend. A portrait of a man who disappears after an assignment faster than the flag that summoned him. Schorndorf near Stuttgart, a Thursday evening in April. The setting sun colors the tower of the baroque town church orange; Gottlieb Daimler’s birthplace already lies half in shadow. Below it the S-Bahn spits out commuters. The shops close, the marketplace empties. Bernd Mayländer stands high above his hometown, 60 meters above it all. If you’d like to meet the driver of the Formula 1 safety cars, you can try your luck at the TA OS Skybar. The lounge is located on the top two floors of the erstwhile Schorndorf Postturm. Even racing fans find it difficult to recognize Bernd Mayländer without his helmet and racing suit. Those who manage to do it here at TA OS nod in greeting, remain politely reserved from a distance. Schorndorf is a calm place. From the terrace Mayländer’s primary school can be seen, to the north of the railway tracks his grandfather Ernst’s old beverage shop. The lounge patrons come from the nearby state capital and throughout the southwest of Germany. Bernd Mayländer has just come from Shanghai. As so often happens, this too will only be a short stopover. Mayländer is on the road a good 250 days a year. As the safety-car driver in the Formula  1, as an AMG Driving Academy instructor, as a Mercedes-Benz brand ambassador and still as a racing driver. The 45-year-old completed the Mille Miglia in May in a Mercedes Benz 710 SS, built in 1930. Before that, he was at the Formula 1 GRAN PREMIO DE ESPANA PIRELLI 2016 in Barcelona, then immediately in Monaco after that. He will not have a weekend at home until the second Sunday of Advent. Without passion and dedication, he says, it couldn’t be done. And yet: “Life on the plane, the travelling, is my job first and foremost. But real life, that’s at home. Here,” says Mayländer, “I feel like a different person.” 68


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