The 2021 season of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship will see a break from tradition, with two car brands – Mercedes-AMG and Aston Martin (both are in a partnership) – supplying safety and medical cars this year. We’ve already seen what the former is bringing to the track, so now it’s time for the latter to reveal its line-up.
Unsurprisingly, it’s the GT R and C 63 S Estate that will return to perform their official duties, although instead of the typical silver livery, the cars are now painted in red. It isn’t the first time the company has supplied cars in such a hue, as the company did the same last year to commemorate Ferrari’s 1000th F1 race at the Tuscan Grand Prix.
The return to red this time is meant to represent CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity company and a partner for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team. “Vehicles from Mercedes-AMG have been leading the Formula 1 field safely around the track as official safety cars since 1996, whenever poor weather conditions or incidents call for their use,” said Christoph Sagemüller, head of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport.
“It was therefore a matter of course for us to extend the contract again. Maximum safety is one of our highest priorities – both in motorsport and for our road vehicles. But we of course hope that both cars will need to be used as little as possible this season,” he added.
The cars are pretty much unchanged from the 2020 season, with the GT R’s 4.0 litre biturbo V8 churning out 585 PS (577 hp) and 700 Nm of torque. With a zero to 100 km/h time of 3.6 seconds, a top speed of 318 km/h and carbon-ceramic brakes, there’s enough performance available to safety car driver Bernd Mayländer to maintain a minimum speed level to prevent the tyres and brakes of the F1 vehicles from excessive cooling and the engines from overheating.
Meanwhile, the C 63 S Estate is the official medical car and its 4.0 litre turbo V8 provides 510 PS (503 hp) and 700 Nm, allowing medics to reach the scene of an accident as quickly as possible. Four individual racing seats with four-point belts are for the medical car’s driver and doctors, with one left as a spare for racing drivers.
Both cars carry two additional screens inside to show live TV footage and the current track position of the individual racing cars. They also come fitted with a carbon-fibre roof light bar and other supporting equipment for official duties. Mercedes-AMG will start with its safety vehicles on April 18 at the second round of the championship in Imola.