The new safety car for this seasons Formula 1 comes in the form of a Mercedes-AMG GT S and was quickly put to the test early on in the first race of the season in Melbourne. The GT S replaces the popular SLS AMG GT which was the safety car of choice since 2012. Power in the GT S comes from a 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 which produces 510bhp and has a top speed of 192mph after hitting 62mph from a standstill in 3.8 seconds – so it is more than capable of setting an adequate pace. There are very little changes to the safety car version in comparison to the road going AMG GT S apart from the light panel on the roof of the safety car, which understandably isn’t an option for the road. This light panel is especially designed to work with the rear wing for the best aerodynamics.
The safety car is required in a race predominantly because of bad weather or when there has been an incident on the track which would mean continuation of full speed racing is unsafe. The Mercedes-AMG GT S is a proven track car with great performance and handling characteristics, meaning it is an ideal vehicle to tackle treacherous weather and set a good pace for the rest of the field to follow whilst an issue is being dealt with. This is important because F1 cars need to prevent their brakes and tyres from cooling down too much or the engine overheating – good and consistent performance from a safety car is therefore paramount.
The Mercedes-AMG GT S is, as we know, an incredible car and more than suitable of taking care of situations at the highest level of motor sport. It’s quality alongside the performance and safety make it the ideal machine for carrying out the task in hand – but for the sake of viewing enjoyment of the sport, we hope we won’t be seeing too much of it this season.