(continued from above)
The gullwing model, with its characteristic roof lights and distinctive FIA
and F1 logos on its aluminum body, has been deployed in the role of official
Safety Car for Formula 1 since 2010. As soon as Race Control considers that the
safe progress of the race may be impeded, it sends the SLS AMG out onto the
track. "Poor weather conditions or accidents are the main reasons for deploying
the Safety Car," according to Bernd Maylander, driver of the Official F1 Safety
Car. "We remain on standby in the pits and receive the order to go out onto the
track via radio. Then it's a case of leading the field safely around the circuit
until the dangerous situation has been dealt with."
Bernd Maylander Has Driven the Official F1 Safety Car Since 2000
The FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile) has entrusted the task of
driving the Safety Car to 40 year-old racer Bernd Maylander since 2000. When the
Formula 1 calendar permits, Maylander, a native of Schorndorf, Germany also
works as an instructor for the AMG Driving Academy and attends selected events
as a Mercedes-Benz brand ambassador. Maylander's co-driver in the Safety Car is
FIA associate Pete Tibbetts (45 years old, from Great Britain), who remains in
permanent radio contact with Race Control. The SLS AMG Official F1 Safety Car is
also on call throughout the race weekend for the majority of the accompanying
race series, such as the GP2 and GP3 Series and the Porsche Supercup.
A significant change in the 2012 season involves lapped vehicles during a Safety
Car phase: they will be allowed to overtake the Safety Car after the Race
Control has given the appropriate signal. By allowing them to gain their lap
back, the natural race order of the cars will be restored, something which
should allow for more equal opportunities when the race restarts.
Safety Car Deployed Twelve Times in the 2011 Formula 1 Season
In the 2011 Formula 1 season, the SLS AMG Official F1 Safety Car was deployed
twelve times, covering a total distance of 284.3 kilometers. At the Canadian
Grand Prix in June 2011, there were no less than 5 Safety Car phases owing to
extreme heavy rain and accidents. The SLS AMG covered some 32 laps, or 139.6 km,
at the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit - a greater percentage than ever before in the
history of Formula 1. At the Monaco Grand Prix there were two Safety Car phases,
while the Grands Prix in Belgium, Italy, Singapore, Japan and Korea each had
just one Safety Car phase. The absolute record for the deployment of the Safety
Car in a season stands at 21 outings, a figure which was reached in 2010. The
total distance covered by the car during that season was 452.3 km.
2012 Mercedes SLS AMG Formula 1 Safety Car, rear view.
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Formula 1 Safety Car: Review (2/2)