The Mercedes-Benz AMG F1 safety vehicles for the 2013 seasonEnlarge Photo
Mercedes-Benz and AMG have been the official supplier of safety and medical cars to Formula One for the past 18 years. Just as Formula One cars have gotten quicker and more capable over the years, so have the Mercedes-AMG supplied support vehicles.
The 2013 season is no exception to this rule, and two new AMG models are being drafted into service this year. Filling the role of the F1 Safety Car
is the all-new SLS AMG GT
, which now replaces the outgoing SLS AMG in Mercedes’ lineup.
The gullwing coupe boasts an output of 591 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque from its normally-aspirated 6.3-liter V8. With the help of its AMG Speedshift DCT seven-speed transmission and a curb weight of just 3,564 pounds, the SLS AMG GT safety car can sprint from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.7 seconds.
The biggest difference between the F1 safety car and the SLS AMG GT
you can park in your garage is the aerodynamically-optimized light bar mounted on the safety car’s roof. The light bar includes both LED lights to signal the drivers and a camera, with a second camera located by the rear number plate.
The dual cameras allow the safety car’s co-driver to keep tabs on the F1 cars behind via a cockpit monitor. The safety car also gets attention-grabbing strobes in the headlights and taillights, as well as green LEDS to illuminate the rear of the car in bad weather.
A Mecedes-Benz C63 AMG
Estate will be used as the official F1 Medical Car for the 2013 season. The wagon’s 6.3-liter V-8 engine gets the AMG Performance package upgrade, for a total output of 487 horsepower, as well as a coil-over suspension and an AMG high-performance braking system.
The medical car is driven by racer Alan van de Merwe and staffed by FIA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ian Roberts. In addition, two medical personnel from a nearby hospital ride in the rear AMG sport bucket seats, and all four seats get six-point harnesses.
Outside, the F1 Medical Car gets a light bar, strobe lights front and rear, LEDs for added visibility and “Medical Car” lettering. Inside, dual monitors allow the occupants to keep tabs on the field, while a radio allows for communications with race control.
As a driver, you hope to never see the safety car or (especially) the medical car, but racing can be a cruel sport. When the worst happens, there’s peace of mind in knowing that first responders are driving fast and capable vehicles.