MERC’S NEW SAFETY: Bernd Maylander, F1 safety car driver since 2000, will drive the 2015 official F1 safety car – the AMG GT S. Image: Mercedes-Benz
AFFALTERBACH, Germany - Mercedes-Benz' new AMG GT S will be the 2015 Formula 1 Safety/Pace car.
The new GT S will make its debut at the season-opening Australian GP on March 15. It replaces the SLS AMG, which served from 2010.
High cornering speeds, dynamic bursts of speed and fast lap times – the safety car is subject to a stringent catalogue of requirements drawn up by the International Formula 1 Association.
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The sport’s official safety car has to be capable of guiding high-speed race cars around circuits in extreme situations.
IMAGE GALLERY: 2015 F1 official safety car
The International Automobile Federation reports: “The safety car must not go about its work at too low a speed either, in order to avoid the tyres and brakes of the F1 cars cooling down to an excessive degree and to ensure that the engines do not overheat."
ON STAND-BY IN THE PITS
Bernd Maylander, a former German Touring Cars driver and F1 safety car driver since 2000, will share the cockpit with federation fuel analyst Peter Tibbetts.
Maylander said: "The gullwing SLS AMG was my official car in F1 for five years. Now I'm looking forward to the new 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 track performance.
"We are on stand-by in the safety car in the pits lane, waiting for instructions from the race organisers. When bad weather or any incidents pose a threat to safe continuation of the race, the safety car team is deployed.”
The AMG GT S is powered by a four-litre V8 b-iturbo engine capable of 375kW/650Nm, mated to an AMG Speedshift DCT seven-speed sport transmission. It’s capable of 0-100km.h in 3.8 seconds and 310km/h.
The Dynamic package offers a performance steering wheel with black with yellow highlights. It comprises dynamic engine and transmission mounts and a specific engine application in race and manual mode.
The F1 car is equipped with light cross-spoked forged and matte black alloy rims shod with sports 265/35 R 19 (front) and 295/30 R 20 (rear). This wheel/tyre combination is also optionally available to customers (GT and GT S).
It has high-performance ceramic composite disc brakes (402mm front and 360mm rear) which can, as an option, be fitted to the road version of the car.
According to AMG: “The Mercedes-AMG GT S clearly has race track performance in its genes, as only a small number of modifications were required to transform it into the official safety car of the F1 championship.”
MERCEDES AMG MEDICAL CAR: The Mercedes-Benz C63 S will partner the AMG GT S as 2015's official F1 medical car. Image: Mercedes-Benz
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