New season, new safety car for the 2015 Formula 1 World Driver’s Championship with Mercedes-AMG unveiling its latest 'silver servant' ahead of the season opener.
While F1 fans will be hoping they don’t see too much of it throughout the year, drivers will, at times, be looking at the back of the new Mercedes-AMG GT ‘S’ coupe.
The GT S replaces the gull-winged SLS AMG, which has served as the official FIA safety car since 2010. Last year, it was required in ten of the 19 races.
AMG says its new safety car is virtually the same as the GT S the public car buy, with power still coming from a 4.0 litre bi-turbo V8 engine producing 375kW and 650Nm.
The GT can hit 100km/h from rest in 3.8 seconds on its way to a top speed of 310km/h. That’s quick for a road car, but roughly twice the time required to reach 100km/h by the purpose-built racers that are forced to follow it under full-course cautions.
One of the few modifications to the GT S safety car is a new performance exhaust system, to ensure trackside fans can enjoy the sound of that bi-turbo V8.
The GT S safety car is fitted with AMG’s Dynamic Plus package, naturally, along with performance ceramic brakes; both of which are optional to GT customers.
"The gull-wing SLS AMG was my official car in F1 for five years, now I'm looking forward to the new Mercedes-AMG GT S,” safety car driver, Bernd Maylander, said.
“I have been fortunate enough to get to know it during its development phase. The new AMG sports car won me over immediately with its high-calibre race track performance.”
Lexus announced its involvement last month, leading fans to consider whether the Japanese carmaker is considering competing in the series down the track.
Round One of the 2015 F1 championship will be run at Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit from March 12-15.
MORE: Mercedes-AMG GT Coupe Revealed, In Australia From June
MORE News & Reviews: F1 | AMG | Lexus