For fans, the most obvious contrast has been the alternating green and red colors at the front of the grid when there is danger or an accident on track, but it has been something entirely different for Formula 1 drivers.
The performance of the two pace cars was in the spotlight at the Australian Grand Prix, as some in motorsport’s top flight took aim at the speed of the Aston Martin Vantage .
Frustrated that it was not going fast enough to maintain the temperature of the tyres, Max Verstappen called the British company’s vehicle a “turtle”.
“There’s very little grip, plus the safety car was going so slow it was like a turtle. Unbelievable,” the Dutch driver said during the Melbourne round. Those comments are similar to those of other drivers, such as Charles Leclerc or George Russell, who suggested that the Aston Martin car is five seconds per lap slower than the Mercedes, and that caused the FIA to respond.
The governing body made it clear that the performance of the different vehicles was not a criterion of concern, since the main function of this car is to help reduce the danger for the marshals and drivers on the track in the event of an accident.
Although the FIA is satisfied with the speed of the Aston Martin, it is clear that the frustrations of the pilots cannot be so easily extinguished, even more so when maintaining the temperature of the tires is vital in the resumption of a race.
What are the differences between Mercedes and Aston Martin safety cars?
This is the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series, the 2022 F1 Safety Car
For this year, Mercedes took a leap by introducing a new safety car and medical car, which are the most powerful versions that have been in the history of Formula 1.
The vehicle that goes out on the track to reduce the danger is the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series , although it is a slightly modified version of the production model. These changes have been made for practical purposes, such as flashing lights (for aerodynamic reasons, integrated into the car at the top), on-board cameras and a cup holder.
But from a technical point of view, it is practically the same model, with a 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine capable of delivering 730 horsepower , which, combined with aerodynamics, weight and center of gravity, is ideal for circuits, as it achieves go from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.2 seconds, in addition to reaching a top speed of 325 km/h.
The data indicates that this car produces an aerodynamic load of 249 kilos at 200 km/h, and it rises to 400 from 250 km/h. The driver of the car is Bernd Maylander , who has been very excited about the performance of the Mercedes and has admitted that he could not believe the great progress that has been made in 2022 compared to its predecessor.
“I am very impressed by how close it is to a racing car,” he explained. “It really is a major step up from last year’s GT R, which was already at an extremely high level.”
This is the Aston Martin Vantage, the 2022 F1 Safety Car
The Aston Martin Safety Car enjoys a technical upgrade from the original road-going version of the sports car, and has now been introduced as a bespoke model for Formula 1.
The 4-liter turbocharged V8 provides 535 hp of power , that is, 25 hp more than the production vehicle, making it capable of going from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.5 seconds. With a front splitter and grille along the lines of the English manufacturer, the Vantage generates 155.6 kg of downforce at 200 km/h, which is 60 kg more than the road car at the same speed.
The Safety Car also features upgraded suspension, steering and shock absorbers, as well as modified gussets to aid front structural rigidity. The turn signal panel is in a more common position, at the top of the roof.
The medical cars of Mercedes and Aston Martin are not far behind either: that’s how they are
The Mercedes GT 63 S 4MATIC+ , powered by a 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine, produces 639 horsepower and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.2 seconds. Its maximum speed is 315 km/h.
The Aston Martin DBX Medical Car has an output of 550 hp, so it can go from 0 to 62 mph (99.7 km/h) in 4.5 seconds. Its maximum speed is 291 km/h.
Technical comparison of the 2022 F1 Safety Cars
|model name||Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series||Aston Martin Vantage|
|Engine||4.0 liter twin-turbocharged V8||4.0 liter turbocharged V8|
|Power (in hp)||730 hp||535 hp|
|Acceleration (0-100km/h)||3.2 seconds||3.5 seconds|
|Downforce at 200 km/h||249kg||155.6kg|