Mercedes-Benz Unveils AMG Safety Cars for 2008 Formula 1 Season


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amg safety car
At the recent 2008 Geneva Auto Show, Mercedes unveiled the 2 AMG models to be used as safety cars for the upcoming F1 season. This is the 8th generation of safety car since 1996 when AMG started being the official F1 supplier.

Two different cars are used, each with a distinct purpose. One is usually a coupe that sits (idling the whole time, with driver Bernd Maylander inside in full race gear, air conditioning blasting) on the side of the race track waiting to storm out anytime there is a yellow flag and all the race cars have to be speed-limited and coast around behind it for a couple of laps. The other car is a station wagon that drives behind the cars for lap 1, and comes out like an ambulance when there is a severe crash.

This year, instead of a traditional coupe, the safety car is based on a convertible – an AMG SL63 replaces the CLK 63 used in 2006-07. This SL is a good 480 lbs lighter, thanks to a fixed roof and generous helpings of carbon fiber. Other significant upgrades include big carbon ceramic brakes, better cooling, a roll bar, racing seats, four-point harnesses, as well as redesigned front and rear fascias.

The medical car is a C63 AMG Estate, kitted with a bunch of sophisticated emergency safety equipment. It is always occupied by the same driver, and co-driver (both physicians) for every race. There are 2 additional medical personnel that ride in the back.

Both cars feature the venerable 6.2L AMG V8 – the SL coupe with 525 horsepower, and
the wagon with 457 hp. Both cars also feature dash mounted tv screens, so occupants can watch the race closely (without commercials) while parked trackside.

Another exciting season of Formula 1 kicks off in Australia next weekend.

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One Response to “Mercedes-Benz Unveils AMG Safety Cars for 2008 Formula 1 Season”

  1. said on April 14th, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    What’s amazing is that this safety car is probably faster than most race cars 10 years ago.