1999 Mercedes-Benz CLR: The story of how Mercedes accidentally made an airplane instead of a racecar
Mercedes is certainly no stranger to motorsports. The German brand has been at it for the better part of the last 100 years. The company was involved in Grand Prix as early as 1923, with their teardrop-shaped Benz Tropfenwagen and then there was LeMans incident from 1955 where a 300 SLR crash-landed into the stands. Mercedes dominated the FIA GT1 class in the 1990s, but that was followed by some interesting developments with their Mercedes CLR, which apparently acted more like an airplane rather than a car. As a result, it managed to flip, and not just once.
Hold Onto Your Jaws: A Sauber Mercedes C9 Has Hit The Market
Throughout the years, the world of racing has given us plenty of iconic liveries to fawn over, from the gold-and-black beauty of the JPS Lotuses run by Colin Chapman’s team to the iconic light blue threads of the stock cars raced by Richard Petty in NASCAR. An equally famous single-color comes from Germany and it adorned not one but multiple teams, namely the ’Silver Arrow’ livery. The Sauber-Mercedes C9 stands as the first ’Silver Arrow’ of the modern era, a car so dominant at one point that it drew justifiable parallels with the original silver bullets from the ’30s.
Those silver cars, be it the rear-mid-engined Auto Unions or the prodigious Mercedes-Benz machines of Rudi Uhlenhaut, were the pride of Germany in between the two World Wars and were painted silver as that was the country’s national racing color, the same as green was the national racing color of Britain and red was that of Italy. With the advent of sponsorship in the ’60s, national colors took a step back but, when Mercedes returned to top-level racing in the late ’80s, it sought to bring back some of that old-timey appeal. This is one of the cars that carried those famous colors in 1989.
2019 Mercedes-Benz EQ Silver Arrow 01
After years of speculation, Mercedes-Benz has finally revealed its Formula E contender. Well, sort of. The German manufacturer presented in the eve of the 89th Geneva Auto Show the EQ Silver Arrow 01 wearing a ’concept livery’ that is, as you can see, lacking an important element: silver. Rest assured, though, the final livery that "will be presented at a later stage ahead of the [2019/20] season opener" will undoubtedly feature some silver.
Here’s an odd one: Mercedes taking the wraps off its first electric silver arrow racer that ominously lacks any trace of silver. That’s like Ferrari debuting next year with a blue car in Formula 1. What’s more important, though, than an interim livery is what Mercedes is conveying by officializing this move. The automaker from Stuttgart left, to the dismay of many, the DTM at the end of the 2018 season after a 30-year-long involvement in the series to focus on showcasing its electric prowess on track in the world’s top arena: the Formula E. The works Merc team will debut next season, which will be the sixth in the history of the championship, and the program will be run by HWA who ran the DTM cars in the last few years and, intriguingly, will operate the new Aston Martin DTM cars this season as well from behind the scenes.
Update 04/03/109: Mercedes has taken the Mercedes-Benz EQ Silver Arrow Formula E racer to the track to perform some in-depth testing. Check out everything we know in our special testing section below!
2018 Mercedes-AMG GT R Formula 1 Safety Car
Developed as a replacement for the iconic SLS AMG, the Mercedes-AMG GT has been around since 2014 and has already made a name for itself on the sports car market. Already available in a variety of versions and body styles, the AMG GT also made its debut on the race track, being offered in both GT3 and GT4 specifications. Starting in 2015, it also became the official Safety Car of the Formula One championship, being used in AMG GT S guise for three seasons. Come 2018, and the FIA upgraded its safety vehicle to AMG GT R specs, thus employing the range-topping model to lead the pack.
The 11th Mercedes-Benz vehicle to pace Formula One since 1996, the AMG GT R is also the most powerful safety car in Formula One history. The AMG GT R takes over from the AMG GT S, which was used since 2015, and joins a long list of AMG vehicles that were used over the last 23 years, including the SLS AMG, SL63 AMG, SLK55 AMG, CL55 AMG, and the C63 AMG. The AMG GT R Safety Car made its debut at the Australian Grand Prix on March 25 and will be used throughout the 2018 season, which ends on November 25.
Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-AMG GT R Formula 1 Safety Car.
2017 Mercedes-AMG GT4
Unveiled in 2014, the Mercedes-AMG GT is the company’s latest halo sports car and replaces the SLS AMG in the lineup. However, the [AMG GT is smaller than its predecessor and aimed at a slightly different market niche, having been developed as a competitor for the Porsche 911. The sports car was also used to introduce AMG’s brand-new engine, a twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8. Launched in GT and GT S variations, the two-door gained higher performance GT R (coupe) and GT C (roadster) models, as well as a
spec race car version in 2016. In 2017, Mercedes-Benz is rolling out a second race car based on the AMG GT, this time around in GT4 specification.
If you’re not familiar with the GT4 class, it’s a less powerful, more affordable version of GT3 and it’s mostly dedicated to amateur drivers. The cars are also equalized in order to allow driving skill to become key. The Mercedes-AMG GT4 was optimized for a wide range of championships, including the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and the Pirelli World Challenge in the U.S., the Blancpain GT Series Asia in Asia and the Australian GT Trophy in Australia. In Germany, the VLN endurance racing championship, and the Nürburgring 24-hours are the series that will see new race car in action. The GT4 European Series Northern Cup and the GT4 European Series Southern Cup are among the international GT4 series that Mercedes developed the AMG GT4 for.
Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-AMG GT4.
Mercedes-AMG Joins IMSA with AMG GT3 Race Car
AMG has confirmed its participation in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship starting in 2017. The German brand will join the GT Daytona (GTD) class with the Mercedes-AMG GT3 next year. Mercedes’ racing division has partnered with Riley Motorsports for a two-car, factory-supported effort. One car will run as "AMG-Team Riley Motorsports", while one car will run as "WeatherTech Racing." A third race car will hit the track with SunEnergy1 Racing.
The German company says that additional teams are scheduled to announce their plans to race as AMG Custom Sports teams for the 2017 season, but details are not yet available.
The new IMSA entries will enhance Mercedes-AMG’s presence within the U.S. market which, until now, was represented only by private teams racing the SLS AMG GT3 in the Pirelli World Challenge series. In order to provide comprehensive technical assistance for all customer teams, Mercedes-AMG has opened a technology and logistics center in Mooresville, North Carolina. The site will ensure a fast and reliable supply of parts and service for all teams, as well as a service and parts transporter to all IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Pirelli World Challenge Series races for direct, on-site assistance.
"We are thrilled to see the three-pointed star compete in North America’s premier endurance racing series in 2017. Our Mercedes-AMG GT3 race car has already proven itself in worldwide competition and should quickly become a fan favorite. We are very excited about our prospects for the 2017 racing season," said Dietmar Exler, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA.
The 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship consists of 12 events that take place between January and October. Highlights will include the popular Rolex 24 at Daytona (January 26–29), the Twelve Hours of Sebring (March 15-18), and "Petit Le Mans," which takes place at Road Atlanta (October 5-7). The Mercedes-AMG GT3, which uses a naturally aspirated 6.3-liter V-8 instead of the twin-turbo 4.0-liter unit in the road car, will compete against GT3-spec version of the Porsche 911, Aston Martin Vantage, Lamborghini Huracan, Acura NSX, Audi R8, Ferrari 488, among others, in the GTD class.
Confirmed drivers include Jeroen Bleekemolen, Ben Keating, Gunnar Jeannette, and David MacNeil for the Riley Motorsports teams, and Kenny Habul for SunEnergy1 Racing.
Continue reading for the full story.
Mercedes Set To Enter Formula E In 2018
With its success in Formula One not waning anytime soon, Mercedes-Benz is looking to take its dominance in motor sport racing to a new playing field, and it may have just found one in Formula E after announcing that Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd has signed an option agreement with Formula E Operations Ltd that includes reserving a seat in the Formula E table for the automaker in time for the 2018 season.
Mercedes joins a long list of automakers that have signed up for Formula E, considered as the next big thing in motorsports that even has the potential to supplant Formula One as the pre-eminent racing series in the world. Despite only being two seasons old (the third season kicks off in Hong Kong October 9), Formula E has already attracted a who’s who of the automotive world. Audi, BMW, Citroen, Jaguar, Renault, Volvo, and even Faraday Future are already involved in some capacity, either with a team of its own or as a partner with an existing racing team. Meanwhile, Nissan, Porsche, and Mugen, Honda’s racing arm, have also expressed interest in joining the series in some form in the future.
The growing popularity of Formula E, combined with the platform it offers in the development of electrification, has made it very appealing in the eyes of these automakers, who themselves are gearing up their own EV road offerings. It’s a perfect marriage that combines competition and the pursuit of new technology, something that Mercedes is all too familiar with given its dominance in Formula One.
Formula E’s plan to expand its teams from 10 to 12 opened the door for Mercedes to get on board and while it still needs the go-ahead from the 10 existing teams in the grid, the German automaker’s clout in the auto industry and motor sports should make its addition to the series a foregone conclusion, effectively making Mercedes Grand Prix the 11th Formula E team.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
This Mercedes-AMG GT3 Race Car Wears A Linkin Park Livery
In the early days of racing, liveries only consisted of a number and (sometimes) a couple of stripes. Visuals on race cars began to evolve dramatically in the 1960s, when a huge number of sponsors joined the sport. Nowadays, they’re mostly the work of skilled designers and sometimes recall famous layouts from the past. Team Black Falcon’s new livery for its Mercedes-AMG GT3 isn’t one of them, but it’s special nonetheless.
Because it was designed by rock band Linkin Park (or at least someone working with the group).
Created for the Blancpain Endurance Series, the livery consists of red and black stripes and shapes over the car’s silver paint. It also has black lightning bolts, but its most important highlights are the "Linkin Park" lettering on the massive rear wing and the band’s log on the engine hood and doors.
There’s no information as to what brought Team Black Falcon and Linkin Park together, but it’s worth mentioning that this is not the first time the California-based group has something to do with Mercedes-Benz.Last year, the band did the soundtack for a Mercedes-AMG C63 promo video. Both last year’s promo and the new livery could be a way to promote Linkin Park’s next album, which is likely to be launched by the end of 2016.
This specific race car was designed for the Spa 24 Hours race in Belgium over the last weekend in July 2016 and given Team Black Falcon’s success in the series so far, it should get a lot of attention.
Continue reading for the full story.
2003 McLaren Mercedes-Benz MP4-15 SSC/96 Formula 1 Race Car for Sale
Every now and then when you’re browsing auction sites or the classifieds and you come across something unexpected. Well, that very thing happened today when I was browsing Ebay. To my amazement, I found a 2003 McLaren Mercedes-Benz MP4-15 that is apparently authentic, and was driven by Kimi Raikkonen with the No. 6 livery during the 2003 F1 season.
With a starting bid of $270,000, I thought to myself “no way.” As it turns out, everything seems to be legitimate. The car is currently located in Brazil and has all of the import/export paperwork ready to go. According to the listing, the car can be exported worldwide, but there is one small catch – it doesn’t have the engine.
That might be a deal-breaker for most, but with the right amount of time and know-how, it wouldn’t be too difficult to drop an engine in there. The listing doesn’t dive too much into the car’s history, but it does state that the car is completely stock, and all parts are original. So, the real question here is: How badly would you like to own a Mercedes Formula 1 car?
After three complete seasons on the V8 Supercars grid, Mercedes-Benz will not appear in Australia’s No. 1 touring car championship in 2016. The news comes via Erebus Motorsport, the only team that used modified E63 AMG sedans over the last three years. Erebus announced it has switched to Holden Commodores for the upcoming season. Stuttgart has yet to make an announcement, but given that the E63 AMG race cars were developed in collaboration with Erebus, it’s safe to assume that we won’t be seeing the tri-star badge in V8 Supercars anytime soon.
Erebus Motorsport didn’t state a specific reason for switching to Holdens, but the fact that the squad has won only two races in three years with Mercedes-AMG speaks for itself.
"Holden has proved its competitiveness in the sport again and again," said Betty Klimenko, owner of Erebus Motorsport. "Erebus has experienced success, but with the switch to Holden combined with our experienced team personnel in Barry Ryan and Campbell Little, and David Reynolds behind the wheel, we have every chance to win more often."
The switch is far from surprising, as Holden is Australia’s most successful manufacturer in motorsport, with a record 19 championships, 496 race wins, and 30 Bathurst 1000 triumphs.
Erebus joined the V8 Supercars series in 2013, when it purchased Stone Brothers Racing and switched from Ford to Mercedes-Benz. After a disappointing first year with many retirements and only three top 10 finishes, Erebus took its first win in 2014, ending the season in seventh in the teams’ standings. The Melbourne-based squad scored another win in 2015, but finished only 11th in the final ranking.
With Erebus’ switch to Holden, 13 of the 24 teams competing in 2016 will be racing Commodores. The rest of the field will be made of Ford Falcons, Nissan Altimas, and Volvo S60s.
Continue reading for the full story.
Even in its off season, Formula One still manages to find a way to make the headlines. No Formula One drivers are involved here, but reports are running wild that Formula One could be bracing for another spy gate controversy. According to these reports, Mercedez-Benz AG has sued one of its Formula One engineers for allegedly taking confidential data and documents in preparation for a move to Ferrari.
The engineer, identified as Benjamin Hoyle, has incurred the wrath of Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains, the motorsports division in charge of building the engines used by the Mercedes Petronas team in Formula One, after the team discovered that Hoyle lifted some highly confidential technical documents from the team — including files containing codes that can decrypt raw race data files. The lawsuit was filed in October 19, 2015, five days before the 2015 United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. Details of the lawsuit only went public on Monday, December 8, 2015. According to the Mercedes lawsuit, Hoyle also took with him mileage and damage data related to Mercedes’ F1 engines and a race report from the 2015 Hungary Grand Prix that was won by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
Hoyle’s contract with Mercedes was set to expire at the end of 2015 after the engineer told the team that he would be resigning his post once his contract expired. The team found out later on that the engineer would be joining Ferrari, so it took the necessary measures to ensure that Hoyle couldn’t get access to confidential racing and technical documents. It was only after these steps were done that the team reported seeing Hoyle looking at race reports and confidential data after that access was taken away from him.
Mercedes is looking to retrieve all of the documents and information Hoyle allegedly stole, in addition to the payment of its legal fees. The team is also seeking to have Hoyle banned from joining Ferrari or any other Formula One team until after the 2016 season.
For its part, Ferrari admitted that it had talks with Hoyle about joining the team, but a company spokesman told Bloomberg that the engineer has never signed a contract with the team and isn’t going on board “in the foreseeable future”.
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Former Formula One driver and current British commentator Martin Brundle knows the feeling of trying to tame an F1 car. He did, after all, have a successful career in Formula One even though he never actually won a race. Brundle is now 56 years old, and while his days as an active racer is over, he’s still capable enough to handle a Formula One race car. Recently, Brundle got the thrill of a lifetime when he was given a chance to take the championship-winning Mercedes-Benz W06 Hybrid out for a spin at Silverstone.
The track conditions weren’t optimal as you can see by the downpour that greeted Brundle and the Mercedes F1 team at Silverstone. But, not one to pass up an opportunity to drive a race car that was fresh off of winning the 2015 F1 Constructor’s title, Brundle gamely took the challenge of navigating the race car around the wet track.
The result is what you’d expect from a man as boisterous as Martin Brundle. In between his shrieks of excitement, Brundle was able to give a pretty detailed play-by-play on his splashing lap time. The biggest takeaway, of course, is how seemingly put together the W106 Hybrid is. Brundle is right when he said that it’s a testament to the car that he can just hop in and set a hot lap in the rain at 56 years old. That tells how much of a technical marvel the W106 really is.
It’s worth pointing out that after Brundle’s date with the W106, Lewis Hamilton went on to win his third Formula One driver’s title, beating out teammate Nico Rosberg. If that doesn’t properly illustrate just how dominant this car is, then maybe Martin Brundle’s giddiness while driving it will do the trick.
Lewis Hamilton has won his third Formula One driver title after taking first place in the United States Grand Prix. Hamilton becomes the second British driver after Sir Jackie Stewart to hoist the biggest prize in motor racing. The Mercedes driver is also just the sixth F1 driver to win three driver’s titles, joining a list that includes Stewart, Niki Lauda, Jack Brabham, Nelson Piquet, and Ayrton Senna.
The road to the 2015 title came with plenty of challenges, including his own teammate, Nico Rosberg and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. The latter could’ve actually kept the championship picture open had he finished second, but the Ferraris were clearly outpaced by the Mercedes cars throughout the weekend, forcing Vettel to settle for third place.
As has been the case throughout the season, the race for first boiled down to Hamilton and Rosberg, and the two Mercedes drivers didn’t disappoint, eschewing any idea of team orders to engage in a frantic last few laps to the race. Ultimately, Hamilton took advantage of a mistake by Rosberg to sweep past the German and put an exciting exclamation point to what has been a dramatic, if not a little one-sided, Formula One season.
There are three races left in the 2015 calendar, the soonest being the F1 Gran Premio De Mexico on November 1, 2015. With both the driver’s and constructor’s titles already decided, these races could be used as early preparations ahead of the winter testing season. Teams will try to get a head-start on the development of next year’s cars and field promising young riders that could one day become the next stars of Formula One. For now, however, Lewis Hamilton retains his spot as the world champion. How long he stays there remains to be seen, but if Mercedes can continue its form, dethroning him could be very difficult.
Continue reading to read more about Lewis Hamilton’s third Formula One world title.
It’s been less than two weeks since Mercedes-Benz unveiled the new 2016 Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe, and Stuttgart has already announced that a new DTM car based on the new two-door is underway. The race car will be ready just in time for the 2016 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters season as a competitor for the updated 2014 BMW M4 DTM and 2014 Audi RS5 DTM.
The new Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM is set to replace the current 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Coupe DTM, which the Germans have been using since 2012, when regulations changed to allow coupes instead of sedans.
"The new Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe will again set new standards for driving dynamics and design. So, the vehicle provides the ideal basis for our DTM car,” said head of Mercedes-AMG DTM, Ulrich Fritz. "I’m already looking forward to seeing the new Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM compete in 2016. Our aim with this vehicle is, of course, to continue the Mercedes-Benz success story in the DTM."
The first tests with the new vehicle will take place this upcoming winter, which means we could see it in action by the end of 2015. The 2016 DTM season commences in May. For now, Mercedes-Benz has only released a handful of photos of the car. Find out more below.
Updated 09/22/2015: We’ve added a series of new photos we took at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. Find them in the "Pictures" tab.
Continue reading to learn more about it.
AMG-prepped Mercedes-Benz cars have a long and storied history as pace cars. From the SLS AMG to the C63 AMG, among others, Affalterbach’s beefed-up cars have acted as pace-setters in extremely popular series the world over, such as Formula One and DTM. The SLS AMG alone paced Formula One for five consecutive seasons between 2010 and 2014. Quite an achievement!
With the flagship SLS AMG already discontinued, it’s the Mercedes-AMG GT’s turn to keep things under control when yellow flags are out. Having already been confirmed as the official Safety Car for the 2015 F1 season, the AMG GT will also step in to replace DTM’s previous pace car, the C63 AMG Black Series, at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz on May 29th to 31st, during the second round of this year’s series.
The DTM Safety Car is virtually identical to the Formula One pace car, meaning the 490-horsepower Mercs, Bimmers, and Audis competing in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters will be led during yellow flags by a range-topping, 503-horsepower GT S model.
As usual, the safety car has a light bar on the roof, in this case mounted on an aerodynamically optimized carbon-fiber air scoop. Added features include a front spoiler and a fixed rear wing, both of which are borrowed from the Edition 1 model. A special license plate with "Safety Car" lettering and orange/green LEDs, and radio equipment inside the cockpit complete the package.
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Lewis Hamilton knows better than to question a good thing. It’s safe to say that last year’s season went pretty well for him, resulting as it did in his second F1 World Championship. He is also, at the time of this writing, the points leader for this year’s season. The second-place driver is his teammate, Nico Rosberg, who also finished second place in last year’s championship. This should tell you a little bit how Mercedes-AMG Petronas has been doing lately, and why Lewis Hamilton has just extended his contract though the 2018 season.
Official figures weren’t released and there has been a lot of speculation on exactly what the deal is worth, with some estimates putting it as high as $140 million over the 2016-2018 seasons. That’s a lot of money, but success like this hasn’t come around very often for Mercedes, and team is evidently willing to pay to hold on to it. Just to give you an idea of rare it is for a Mercedes works driver to win a Championship, the last one was Juan Manuel Fangio in 1955. So this deal with Hamilton is advantageous for both parties.
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