Mercedes have revealed the two new AMG vehicles that will be supporting all Formula 1 races during the 2008 season. Mercedes have long been a support of Formula 1 with AMG part of the support vehicle system since 1996.
The SL63 63 AMG has been selected as the Official F1 Safety Car, with the C63 AMG Estate as the Official F1 Medical Car. Both cars will feature AMG optional equipment to allow the car to cope with life on the track and the different climates found at race-tracks around the world.
Some of the changes that can be seen on the SL63 include larger cooling ducts on the unique front fascias of the cars, extra coolers for the engine, differential and transmission oil along with power steering and coolant fluid, ceramic front brake discs for increased fade resistance, and lighter overall chassis weights to offset all the additional features on the car. The lighter chassis is achieved by removing some sound insulation from the car, as well as replacing some of the panels on the cars with carbon fibre. It is claimed that the modified SL63 is actually 484 lbs lighter than the production version of the car which weighs in at 3,850 lbs.
The SL63 boasts 525 bhp and will be driver by 36 year old Bernd Maylander who will lead Formula 1 cars around the circuit when a safety car is called for quickly enough so that the race car engines do not overheat, and their brakes and tyres do not cool too much.
The C63 has 457 bhp and has similar changes to the SL63 with the exception of the lightening of the chassis as extra speed is less of factor for the medical car. The C63 is manned by four people the driver is Dr. Jacques Tropenat who is a medic and amateur race driver. His co-driver is Gary Hartstein, official Grand Prix Chief Medical Officer. They are joined by two medical assistants. The car is fully stocked with a range of medical equipment including a respirator and defibrillator.
Mercedes have prepared a total of four cars for the Formula 1 season two cars for each job to ensure that in case of breakdown, a replacement is immediately available.