Being a Formula One driver means having every moment of every day during racing season spelled out for you. In addition to constant physical training, there’s testing in simulators (and occasionally on track, FAI rules permitting), debriefings, and the ever-present sponsor appearances.

For Mercedes-Benz drivers Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg, this means dropping in to visit with other Mercedes-sponsored teams, such as the German National  football (soccer) team.

The diversion helps to break up the monotony of constant drills and training as the football team prepares for the opening of the European Championships. Being driven around the back roads of the Haute-Provence in a new A-Class Mercedes by F1 stars Schumacher and Rosberg surely beats taking shots on goal for hours on end.

It’s good to hear the drivers call the A-Class “sporty,” especially in the 211 horsepower version that will be coming to the United States for the first time. Sure, the hatchback is front wheel drive instead of Mercedes’ traditional rear-drive, but it has the potential to serve as a gateway vehicle to the brand, expanding Mercedes’ customer base.

There’s even talk of a 320-horsepower, all-wheel-drive A25 AMG variant, built to steal market share from the new BMW M135i and the Audi RS3. Let’s hope that Mercedes-Benz ignores the rumors that “Americans won’t buy hatchbacks” and brings the AMG to these shores, too.