What exactly is the model of the safety car in Formula 1?
What type of car is the F1 Safety Car? Who supplies the series with the vehicles – and who even drives it?
The deployment of the safety car in F1 usually means that something bad has happened on the track.
It could be an accident during the grand prix or the weather conditions are so bad that the riders’ visibility is so limited that it’s not safe to continue racing at normal speeds.
Released by Race Direction, he rallies the field of drivers, neutralizing the race until the danger is over – ALL the lapped cars now pass ahead before the race resumes…
But what is the safety car in F1? What car model is it and who supplies the standard equipment and who drives it?
What is the F1 Safety Car?
First appearing at the 1973 Canadian Grand Prix, the introduction of the safety car in F1 was initially treated as the exception rather than the rule.
In 1993 it was introduced permanently, although standard road cars were used – including Fiats, Hondas and at the Opel Vectra at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix where Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna both raced been killed.
Since 1996, Mercedes-Benz has supplied F1 with the safety car – a deal that still lasts today.
Mercedes’ current safety car offering is a Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series.
It’s modified with lights to let drivers know what’s to come – with them coming out to signify the safety car is coming to the end of the lap.
The crew on board can also communicate with race control, for example when providing information on wet conditions.
However, in 2021 a new brand joined Mercedes-Benz to supply F1’s safety car.
As part of their renewed interest in F1, Aston Martin is now sharing safety car duties with Mercedes.
Aston provides a Vantage for use – which is equipped in the same way as the Merc GT.
In 2022, in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, Mercedes provided the safety car in F1.
Who drives it?
There is also another essential car for grand prizes: the medical car.
It is the one that can be seen at the back of the peloton at the start, which follows the pilots in the first lap in the event of an incident.
It will also be a Mercedes or an Aston depending on who supplies them in this race.
The F1 safety car is driven by former driver Bernd Maylander (below) – a former DTM and touring car ace.
The medical car is usually in the hands of Alan van der Merwe with Dr Ian Roberts at his side.
It was van der Merwe and Roberts who were first on the scene of Romain Grosjean’s violent crash during the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix – the latter helping Grosjean out of the scorching wreckage of his Haas.
In other news, Formula 1 teams that are powered by Mercedes engines