Mercedes-AMG will again ensure maximum safety in the 2022 F1 season
A new era is opening up for Formula One this season with completely new technical regulations, completely new aerodynamics and a totally new look for the cars, which means in essence a new beginning for motorsport's premier class.
However, two things will remain the same as F1 embarks on the latest stage in its development in Bahrain March 20 - Mercedes-AMG will again ensure maximum safety out on the race track this year by providing the Official FIA F1 Safety Car® and the Official FIA F1 Medical Car®.
The safety car with the three-pointed star has been a constant feature for 26 years now, and during that time, high-performance models, including the Mercedes-Benz CL 55 AMG, the Mercedes-Benz C 36 AMG and the spectacular SLS AMG gullwing specially developed by Mercedes-AMG, have all been utilised.
This upcoming F1 season is now set to mark a premiere when the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series (fuel consumption combined: 12.8 l/100 km, CO2 emissions combined: 292 g/km)¹ leads the field as the safety car.
At the same time, the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S 4MATIC+ (fuel consumption combined: 13.5-13.0 l/100 km, CO2 emissions combined: 308-295 g/km)¹ will make its debut as the medical car. These two F1 safety vehicles about to be deployed this season will be the most powerful ever used and will sport the same distinctive red livery as last year.
The new Official FIA F1 Safety Car®: The Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series
The FIA's list of requirements for the safety car is a tough one to fill with high cornering speeds, the ability to produce dynamic intermediate sprints and fast lap times all number one priorities. The AMG GT Black Series has the ideal prerequisites for this demanding role at the pinnacle of motorsport.
This flagship model can produce 537 kW (730 bhp) and was developed specifically for the race track. There is currently no street-legal AMG model on offer that is more like an out-and-out racing car. The thing that strikes you most about this year's safety car, though, is the complete lack of the customary light bar on the roof.
The reason for its absence has a simple explanation. Since it would have interfered with the sophisticated aerodynamics of the AMG GT Black Series, development engineers at Affalterbach had to come up with something new. The lights needed for signalling are now integrated into the upper part of the windscreen while at the rear, they have been neatly integrated into the rear wing. Low consumption, fast-reacting LEDs are used for all signalling functions. The headlights and car's rear lights also flash at regular intervals in order to catch drivers' attention.
I'm delighted to be back behind the wheel of the Formula 1 safety car again for the 2022 season
"And I'm particularly pleased this year to be in a Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series. I've already had the chance to test this amazing vehicle on numerous occasions and I'm simply blown away by how close it is to a thoroughbred racing car. It really is a major step forward compared to last year's GT R which was already at an extremely high level. To have a workplace like this in the name of safety is a dream come true."
While Mayländer has to focus on the track ahead when the safety car is called out while observing what is happening in his rear-view mirror at the same time, co-driver Richard Darker is responsible for maintaining radio contact with race control. Darker must also watch the race action on two screens and follow a 'marshalling system', showing the flag signals on each section of track. There's also a 'medical warning light'. In the event of an accident on the track that exceeds a critical g-force threshold, the LEDs flash several times. This provides Bernd Mayländer and Richard Darker with an additional warning to prepare for action.
The new Official FIA F1 Medical Car®: The Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S 4MATIC+
Apart from the Official FIA F1 Safety Car®, Mercedes-AMG will also again provide the Official FIA F1 Medical Car® for the 2022 Formula One season, as the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S 4MATIC+ is set to take over from its predecessor, the C 63 S AMG T model (combined fuel consumption: 10.8 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions: 246 g/km) and make its debut in motorsport's premier class.
With its 4.0-litre, V8 biturbo engine giving a maximum output of 470 kW (639 hp), the new medical car will be the most powerful and fastest ever seen since F1 records began. Designed to give maximum performance out on the race track, the four-door coupé in standard trim can accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in 3.2 seconds and top out at 315 km/h.
As with the safety car, its V8 engine, AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9G transmission, dynamic engine mounts and rear axle with electronic locking differential are all the same as those used in the road-going version.
Another advantage over the rear-wheel drive C 63 S is the fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive system to ensure optimal traction and maximum driving safety even in adverse weather conditions and pouring rain.
The medical car is always on hand to provide speedy emergency care and apart from its driver, FIA Medical Rescue Coordinator Dr Ian Roberts plus one or sometimes even two local doctors from a specialist clinic near the track are generally on board.
The medical car closely shadows the F1 field on the starting lap when the racing cars are particularly close together during this critical phase of the race so that in the event of an incident, doctors can reach the scene of the accident as quickly as possible and start administering first-aid immediately. During the race, the Official FIA F1 Medical Car® is normally parked in the pit lane next to the safety car.
Improving safety for more than 25 years
Vehicles from Mercedes-AMG have been improving safety at Grands Prix since 1996, firstly with the Official FIA F1 Safety Car which leads the Formula One field in bad weather or when there's an incident and then with the Official FIA F1 Medical Car which can immediately reach the scene of an accident.
"Motor racing means so much to us, as does, of course, the highest possible level of safety," said Philipp Schiemer, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. "We always took it as understood that after more than 20 years, we would still be supplying both safety car and medical car and we're doing just that with two outstanding vehicles from our portfolio."
Christoph Sagemüller, Head of Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GmbH added: "To ensure F1's needs are met, we have upped the ante even further for the 2022 season with our most powerful models to date, the AMG GT Black Series and the AMG GT 63 S. What's more, their on-track performance displays their unfiltered motor racing DNA more than any of their predecessors. As always, of course, I hope that these vehicles will be called upon for support as little as possible."
Beginning with the F1 season-opening round, the Bahrain Grand Prix at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir on 20 March 2022, Mercedes-AMG will share the challenging duty of providing safety car and medical car with British sports car manufacturer Aston Martin as was the case last year.