Tales from the paddock: Double podium in Barcelona and a one-two at Le Castellet

Tales from the paddock: Double podium in Barcelona and a one-two at Le Castellet

First double podium of the season for Lewis and George
The F1 teams proceeded directly from Monaco to Catalonia, where last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix was to be contested as the seventh race of the 2023 season. For the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team, it was the first opportunity to test the upgrades to the Mercedes-AMG F1 W14 E PERFORMANCE on a permanent race track – all of the races since the season opener in Bahrain had taken place on street circuits. The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya had undergone some changes since last year, with the final chicane being replaced by the original corners. Having booked P4 and P12 respectively in Saturday’s qualifying, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell gained positions in the early stages of the race, with Lewis moving up to P3 and George up to P7. Both Lewis and George started the race on the Soft tyres and switched to the Medium compound on laps 24 and 25 respectively. At their last stop, they changed back to Softs. From the middle of the race, Lewis and George occupied second and third places, which they held on to until the black-and-white chequered flag. It was the team’s first double podium since last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix. As a result, the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team moves 18 points ahead of Aston Martin in the Constructors’ World Championship to occupy second place in the manufacturers’ standings. The next race takes the F1 teams to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Canada (16 18 June).

Mercedes-AMG one-two in the GT World Challenge Europe
Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing celebrated a one-two victory in the 1,000-kilometre race at Le Castellet, which constituted the second round of the 2023 Fanatec GT World Challenge powered by AWS Endurance Cup. Mercedes-AMG Performance Drivers Raffaele Marciello (SUI) and Jules Gounon (AND) plus Timur Boguslavskiy (FIA) in the number 88 AKKODIS ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 secured overall victory. It was an impressive drive all round, with Marciello battling his way to the front from fifth place in the penultimate stint. Second place went to the number 777 Mercedes-AMG GT3 driven by the Mercedes-AMG Team AlManar trio of Maro Engel, Fabian Schiller and Luca Stolz (all GER). The two Mercedes-AMG teams had booked both starting positions on the front row of the grid in qualifying. The Haupt Racing Team meanwhile had the satisfaction of a class win. Sébastien Baud (FRA), Hubert Haupt (GER) and Mercedes-AMG Junior Driver Arjun Maini (IND) prevailed in the Bronze Cup against a large and strong field.

News snippets: Results and Facts

GT4 European Series:
Marc de Fulgencio (ESP) and Marcel Lenerz (GER) finished in the Top Five in both rounds of the GT4 European Series at Le Castellet. The BCMC Motorsport powered by EastSide Motorsport duo sharing the cockpit of the number 4 Mercedes-AMG GT4 finished fourth in the first of two races. In the second, they had to settle for fifth in difficult track conditions.

GTC Race:
Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing celebrated an overall podium and three class wins at the second GTC Race event of the 2023 campaign hosted by the Lausitzring. Luca Arnold and Christer Jöns (both GER) in the #65 W&S Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 took second place overall and a class victory in the one-hour GT60 race on Saturday. There was also a class win on Saturday for Jan-Philipp Springob and Simon Connor Primm (both GER) in the #85 CV Performance Group Mercedes-AMG GT4, who finished sixth overall. In the first of two sprint races on Sunday, Jay Mo Härtling (GER) in the #11 Schnitzelalm Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 contributed another class win.

Special Touring Car Trophy:
Croatia’s Franjo Kovac gave Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing two class wins on the second race weekend of the Spezial Tourenwagen Trophy at the Lausitzring. Driving the number 200 Mercedes-AMG GT4 of Besagroup Racing, Kovac left his GT4 opponents trailing in both races.

IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge:
Mercedes-AMG Expert Driver Daniel Morad (CAN) partnered by Bryce Ward (USA) won last weekend’s 100-minute IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race. After 71 laps of the Detroit street circuit, the number 57 Mercedes-AMG GT4 of WINWARD Racing crossed the finish line ahead of the rest of the field. Morad and Ward were joined on the podium by third-placed Marc Miller (USA) and Michael DiMeo (CAN) who shared the #78 Mercedes-AMG GT4 of Thaze Comp by MC Squared.

GT Cup Championship:
Sam Maher-Loughan (IRL) and James Wallis (GBR) came away from the third race weekend of the 2023 GT Cup Championship at Snetterton with a winner’s and runners’-up trophy. The Team Drivetac powered by Track Focused duo in the number 50 Mercedes-AMG GT3 finished fifth in the other two races contested over the weekend. Three class wins also went to Mercedes-AMG customer outfit Make Happen Racing, two of them courtesy of Jon Currie and Phil Keen in the #96 Mercedes-AMG GT4 and one thanks to their fellow Brits Chris Hart and Stephen Walton in the #69 sister car.

GT4 Scandinavia:
Sharing the billing with the GT4 European Series at Le Castellet was the GT4 Scandinavia. Driving the only Mercedes-AMG GT4 in the field, Sweden’s Håkan Ricknäs and Calle Ward took a class win and second place overall in the first race, and were runners-up in their class in the second race.

Mercedes-AMG Motorsport

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