Power boost for F1 safety car
PUTTING F1 SAFETY FIRST: The updated F1 safety car, a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT, will be introduced at the 2012 Singapore night race.
AFFALTERBACH – As the Formula 1 circus heads to Singapore for its annual night race Mercedes-Benz is preparing to release a 435kW update to the sport’s SLS AMG GT safety car.
Along with an increase in power output, the SLS will also benefit from quicker gearshift times and a new AMG ride control performance suspension for increased driving dynamics and better on-track performance.
STANDARD SLS AMG GT
The official F1 safety car is a standard SLS AMG GT that goes without technical modifications or additional weight saving measures. It uses Merc’s familiar 6.2-litre V8 engine producing 435kW/650Nm and is mated to the AMG Speedshift DCT seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The SLS AMG GT races from 0p-100 km/h in 3.7 seconds and reaches 200km/h in 11.2 seconds, the automaker said.
Along with its performance suspension, it also uses AMG ceramic composite brakes and lightt AMG 10-spoke forged light-alloy wheels. It even has new design features.
There is a high probability the car will make an appearance on Singapore’s Marina Bay street circuit this weekend – the safety car has been deployed in every Singapore GP since its inclusion in the race calendar in 2008. It has also been deployed six times to date in the 2012 F1 season.
'BEST SAFETY CAR'
Its driver Bernd Mayländer, who has fulfilled this role since 2000, is particularly pleased with his “company car”, calling it “the best safety car I have driven! The combination of increased performance, optimised transmission shift times and the new AMG ride control performance suspension takes the driving dynamics of the gullwing model to an even higher level.
“I have now been driving the different safety cars since 2000 and with each new vehicle I notice a significant enhancement over the previous model."
His co-driver is Pete Tibbets who remains in permanent radio contact with race control throughout the car’s deployment.
The official F1 safety car is also on call throughout the race weekend for most of the accompanying race series, such as the GP2 and GP3 series and the Porsche Supercup.