Accidents and lost of life is a serious matter in MotoGP and Formula 1 with both paddocks unfortunately experiencing deaths in the past couple of years. In order to save lives as well as perform general duties such as bunching or controlling the race the cars supplied need to be pretty special.
In Formula 1 for the 2021 season, Mercedes-Benz are continuing their involvement and moving from their traditional silver cars to red ones, the Mercedes-AMG signature colour which also happens to match the brand colour of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team partner CrowdStrike. The car tasked with keeping in front of the fastest cars in the world is a 430 kW (585 hp) Mercedes-AMG GT R with optional track package while medical duties will fall on the C 63 S Estate, driven by Alan van der Merwe. AMG Driving Academy Bernd Mayländer will be driving the wheels off the AMG GT R safety car and trying to ignore the insulting comments from singleminded F1 drivers that he’s going too slow.
It’s not just Mercedes-Benz however that are supplying cars. 2021 will see Aston Martin join in on the action supplying a fully kitted out Vantage also driven by Bernd Mayländer and with the same challenge as when in the Mercedes: keeping those F1 cars behind by going as fast as possible in what is essentially a road car. Aston have actually made some changes to improve the chassis, suspension, steering and dampers, an increase of 60kg of downforce at 200kph, an increase in power by 25PS to 535PS, a torque curve that is sustained for longer, and an optimised transmission.
It also takes on an advanced cooling system derived from Aston’s Le Mans winning cars negating the need for cool down laps.
Aston Martin are also supplying the medical car, a 550PS and 700NM of torque DBX kitted out with all the necessary medical and safety gear to pull Frenchmen out of fireballs. Changes have been made to the interior and out go the luxury appointment and in their place sport bucket seats equipped with 6-point safety harnesses. Two screens features one of which reads live biometric data delivered via technology in the drivers’ gloves providing crucial information in the event of an accident. No Apple CarPlay in these cars!
In MotoGP BMW are continuing their association having used some of the most incredible M cars in the past such as the 1 Series M, M2, and of course M3. For 2021 coinciding with the market launch of the new M3 and M4, BMW have kitted out their big grille M3 to chase down the pack and perform other duties. But it’s not just the M3 BMW will have at the circuits as it’s joined by an M4, an M5 and for the first time a BMW M 1000 RR Safety Bike. How cool is that!
Following the first European race of the season, the line up will change to include the BMW M8 Competition Coupe Safety Car, the BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe Safety Car, the BMW X5 M Medical Car and another BMW M 1000 RR Safety Bike. Ok not quite so exciting apart from the bike but 2022 might bring back the next BMW M2 into the fold.
In the meantime, bring on the racing!