- The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT is the Official F1 Safety Car.
- The 2013 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG is the Official F1 Medical Car.
- The vehicles are deployed as needed for emergency situations that arise during races.
AFFALTERBACH, Germany — Mercedes-AMG is providing the official safety car and medical car for Formula 1 races for the 18th season in a row.
The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT is the Official F1 Safety Car. The 2013 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG is the Official F1 Medical Car. The safety car, usually referred to as the pace car in American racing, is deployed by race officials when there is reason to suspend competition, such as a serious accident or extreme weather.
During those periods, the SLS AMG GT, driven by former race driver Bernd Maylander with co-driver Pete Tibbets, assumes a position in front of the lead car and drivers line up behind them in single-file order at reduced speed until the track is clear.
When the emergency situation has been resolved, the safety car leaves the track ahead of the single-file lineup and competition resumes.
The SLS AMG GT is loaded with safety equipment, including a roof light bar that incorporates a TV camera and a second camera located in the rear that allows the driver and co-driver to keep an eye on Formula 1 cars via a cockpit monitor.
When there is a serious accident, the C63 AMG Estate, with a body resembling the classic American station wagon but with high-performance attributes, is called into action. It is also automatically deployed at the beginning of each race, lining up behind the cars on the standing-start grid and trailing the field in the initial moments of the race, when cars are tightly bunched and contact is likely.
The medical car is driven by former racer Alan van de Merwe with the FIA chief medical officer, Dr. Ian Roberts, and two medical staff assistants also onboard. The assistants are chosen from a nearby clinic.
The four sit in special seats with competition-style six-point harnesses. An array of medical equipment, including a defibrillator and respiration apparatus, is stored onboard the car.
Both vehicles are equipped with electronic race monitoring equipment, special radios for communication with race control and aerodynamic light bars mounted on the roof.
Both are high-performance vehicles, the safety car with a 591-horsepower 6.3-liter V8 and the medical car with a 487-hp version of the 6.3-liter V8.
Edmunds says: Mercedes has been active in this role in major international motor sports for nearly two decades, enhancing the conduct of racing and quickly responding with medical personnel during serious accidents.