Mercedes-AMG has unveiled an all-new Official Safety Car for the 2015 season of Formula 1. The new model will replace the SLS AMG, which served without any fault from 2010 to 2014.
Ideally suited for this tough job, the Mercedes-AMG GT S F1 Safety Car boasts a 503-horsepower V8 engine with dry sump lubrication, dual clutch transmission and a cutting-edge sports suspension with aluminum double-wishbone axles.
As in previous years, the Safety Car will be driven by the German ex-racer Bernd Maylander.
“The gull-wing SLS AMG was my official car in Formula 1 for five years. Now I’m looking forward to the new Mercedes-AMG 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-caliber race track performance,” Maylander said.
Only a small number of modifications were required to turn a production Mercedes-AMG GT S into a car capable of leading Formula 1 cars around a race track in extreme situations. The Safety Car must be fast, otherwise the tires and brakes might cool down to an excessive degree or the engines might overheat. The engine, transmission and the suspension system haven’t required any modification. The Dynamic Plus package with which the Safety Car is equipped is optionally available to any GT S customer for a further increase in driving dynamics. The package includes dynamic engine and transmission mounts, tauter spring and damper tuning, more negative camber at the front axle, performance steering wheel as well as an adapted speed-sensitive sports steering system.
Wheels and tires are also standard. The forged wheels painted in matt black with high-sheen rim flanges are fitted with tires in size 265/35 R19 and 295/30 R20.
The Safety Car features a ceramic composite braking system, which is also optionally available on a production GT S.
The biggest difference from a standard road-going version lies in a custom light bar on the roof, and in interior equipment.
The light bar is positioned on a carbon fiber air scoop that is designed to be as aerodynamically efficient as possible while providing a flow of air towards the rear aerofoil. Depending on the requirements, the light bar emits orange or green colors. Green means “no overtaking”, while green means that the Safety Car can be overtaken.
Inside, the GT S Safety Car features two iPads which allow the co-driver Peter Tibbetts to monitor the Formula 1 vehicles. The left iPad shows the International Feed of the Grand Prix while the expandable one on the right can optionally show an animated presentation indicating the current positions of the vehicles on the track or current lap times.
Various FIA-specific systems are also installed, such as the transponder system for timing purposes, GPS and telemetry. Also on-board is the Marshalling System, which shows the driver the flag signals for each part of the circuit. For example, if there is an accident on a certain part of the circuit, the system will display a yellow caution flag to the driver.
Naturally, six-point seat belts and sports bucket seats provide maximum support to the both passengers.
Also year, the Safety Car was deployed in ten out of 19 races and entered the race track 14 times in all.