Mercedes-AMG has been supplying F1 safety cars for over 20 years–but none have been as powerful as this.
Mercedes-AMG has a longstanding history with Formula One, having supplied the series with safety cars since 1996 with the C36 AMG. Ahead of this year's racing season, the tuner has announced it will once again be providing a safety car, but this time it will be a Mercedes-AMG GT R, a replacement for last year's GT S safety car. Like most of AMG's cars, the GT-R packs a 4.0-liter twin-turbo under its hood, but now it's been tuned to produce 585 horsepower and 520 lb-ft of torque.
That's enough grunt to make the GT R officially the most powerful F1 safety car of all time. Zero-to-62 mph takes just 3.5 seconds before the German sports car tops out at 197 mph. It's a suitable choice, too. The GT R already has racing pedigree since it shares the driving dynamics of the AMG GT3 race car and was tested extensively at the Nurburgring during development. Bernd Mayländer will be behind the wheel of the official Mercedes-AMG safety car once again. "I am very much looking forward to my new company car," he said. "It is an absolute highlight in terms of driving dynamics and is one level higher up still than the AMG GT S of recent years.
"Of course, ideally the safety car should be deployed as rarely as possible—but when we have to safely bunch up the Formula 1 field and lead it around the track, we will be superbly equipped with the AMG GT R." Several modifications have been made to allow the Mercedes-AMG GT R to perform safety car duties. An AMG Track Package with roll-over protection system and the high-performance ceramic compound braking system were fitted. Further distinguishing it from the standard road car is an official F1 livery and a roof-mounted light bar positioned on a carbon fiber air scoop that was optimized in a wind tunnel to provide optimal aerodynamic efficiency.
Inside, the cabin features a pair of iPads, with one showing the live broadcast while the other displays an animated version of each car's current position and lap time. Joining the AMG GT R will be a Mercedes-AMG C63 S wagon medical car carrying up to three medics. You'll be able to see the new Mercedes-AMG GT R safety car in action when this year's F1 season kicks off in Melbourne this weekend at the Australian Grand Prix—though it hopefully won't be needed very often.