Tales from the paddock: Floodlights, goose bumps and an almost unprecedented success story
Tales from the paddock: Floodlights, goose bumps and an almost unprecedented success story
The floodlights await: Singapore, here we come!
The Singapore Grand Prix will be held for the 14th time this season in the framework of the FIA Formula One World Championship. The only interruption to this relatively young tradition came in 2020 and 2021.
Five different drivers have so far been crowned winners on the Marina Bay Street Circuit. The most successful contestant on this technically demanding track in Southeast Asia is Sebastian Vettel, with a tally of five victories ahead of Lewis Hamilton on four. In terms of qualifying, Sebastian and Lewis share the honours with four pole positions each.
In the team stakes, Mercedes and Red Bull jointly top the table with four wins each. Lewis (2014, 2017, 2018) and Nico Rosberg (2016) delivered the Team’s four wins. In qualifying, Ferrari lead the pack on six pole positions, ahead of Mercedes on three. The brand with the three-pointed star is also the most successful engine manufacturer under the floodlights of Singapore, with a total of five wins.
Implications of the track changes in Singapore
F1 has been contested at the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore since 2008. This season, however, the Grand Prix will look a little different to what we have become used to in previous years. Due to redevelopment works in the vicinity of the track, the Grand Prix will have a different layout this year. The four 90-degree corners in the area between Turns 16 and 19 have fallen victim to construction plans and been replaced by a 398-metre-long straight. This reduces the number of corners from 23 to only 19, making the track 135 metres shorter and increasing the number of race laps from 61 to 62.
“It certainly changes the flavour of that final sector,” says Riccardo Musconi, Head of Trackside Performance. “In previous years, we’ve been getting towards the end of the lap just trying to survive. The final six corners really took the tyres to the edge, so, in the final turns, you were really fighting oversteer.”
Akkodis Lead the Charge: Become part of the team
The Akkodis Lead the Charge initiative enters its third year in 2023. The programme offers a unique opportunity for one lucky applicant to complete a paid internship with the team in Brackley. This is an opportunity to gain valuable and unique experience, from factory to trackside, using the latest technologies to develop sustainable solutions in a hi-tech, data-driven environment and to assist the Team in driving forward its sustainability agenda.
Frederik Vesti: A childhood dream comes true
Frederik Vesti has had a busy diary throughout 2023, but the current overall runner-up in the 2023 FIA Formula 2 Championship is showing no signs of fatigue as he prepares for the season finale in Abu Dhabi. Despite showing strong pace over the past three race weekends in Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy, he failed to score points in any of the main races.
“I’m not giving up without a fight,” avows the 21-year-old Dane. “I need to take pole position and win races. That’s what I am there to do. I need to maximise everything; I know I need to perform at the highest level.”
Frederik is due to receive a motivational boost in the build-up to the Formula 2 finale. He will be taking a seat in the W14 for the first time in Mexico City and making his debut at a Grand Prix weekend in the first free practice session: “It’s a childhood dream. Just talking about it is crazy. To have the chance to drive their F1 car in an official F1 session is giving me goosebumps. It’s a huge motivation.”
Customer Racing News:
Superb set of results for Mercedes-AMG at the Sachsenring
Mercedes-AMG Performance driver Luca Stolz (GER) certainly made his mark on the sixth race weekend of the 2023 DTM. The 27-year-old, who drives for Mercedes-AMG Team HRT, booked pole position on Saturday and converted it into a victory. In the second race on Sunday, which had to be interrupted after an accident on the first lap, Luca Stolz started from third place. At the finish, he crossed the line in second place, despite having had to carry 20 kilos of success ballast imposed for the victory on the previous day. In the overall standings, Stolz is now the best-placed of the AMG contingent in fifth place.Two other AMG drivers made it into the Top Ten on Sunday in the shape of Junior drivers Arjun Maini (IND) in seventh and Jusuf Owega (GER) in tenth. David Schumacher (GER) finished just outside in eleventh. Mercedes-AMG’s points haul of 59 made it the most successful manufacturer on the return of the DTM to the Sachsenring after a 21-year break. The overall performance was only bettered by the results from the Sunday race at Zandvoort where the Mercedes-AMG drivers score 62 points towards the manufacturers’ standings.
News snippets: Results and Facts & Social Media News
ADAC GT Masters:
Salman Owega (GER) and Elias Seppänen (FIN) enjoyed an almost perfect weekend at the Sachsenring. The Landgraf Motorsport duo sharing the cockpit of the number 48 Mercedes-AMG GT3 not only won both races but also started Saturday’s race from pole position. On Sunday, the three Mercedes-AMG GT3s in the field monopolised the Top Three grid positions, but Owega and Seppänen were obliged to line up behind the two Haupt Racing cars. With a score of 55 points (58 being the maximum possible on a single weekend), the Landgraf pairing now also lead the overall standings by a comfortable margin.
The story of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 at the Sachsenring is one of almost unprecedented success. The win rate of the AMG Customer Racing teams at this old-school circuit near Hohenstein-Ernstthal in Saxony is phenomenally high. Three of the four GT3 races last weekend were won by a Mercedes-AMG GT3. In the 46 races held there since 2016, 14 victories have gone to an Affalterbach-built car, which equates to a win rate of 30 percent. The first success at the Sachsenring for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 was delivered by Sebastian Asch and Luca Ludwig (both GER) in the ADAC GT Masters on 30th April 2016, when they won the Saturday race for Mercedes-AMG Team Zakspeed.
Nürburgring Endurance Series:
In the 12-hour race contested over two separate six-hour sessions, BLACK FALCON Team TEXTAR celebrated a double success. The number 140 Mercedes-AMG GT4 driven by Reinhold Renger together with brothers Florian and Tobias Wahl (all GER) won the SP8T class on Saturday and on Sunday. Adam Christodoulou (GBR), Charles Espenlaub, Shane Lewis and Charles Putman (all USA) ascended the SP9 Pro-Am class podium on both days. Driving the number 45 Mercedes-AMG GT3 fielded by CP Racing, they finished third in race one and second in race two.
International GT Open:
Two Mercedes-AMG GT3 crews made it onto the podium in Saturday’s 70-minute race at the Red Bull Ring near Spielberg in Austria. Diego Menchaca (MEX) and Marcos Siebert (ARG) of Team Motopark finished in second place ahead of Reece Barr (IRL) and Mikaeel Pitamber (RSA) of Team SPS automotive performance. In the overall standings, Menchaca and Siebert remain in second place, just one point behind the current leaders. On Sunday, Kiki Sak Nana (THA) and Adam Osieka (GER) in the number 786 Team GetSpeed Mercedes-AMG GT3 won the AM class in impressive style.
British GT Championship:
Jonny Adam and James Cottingham (both GBR) sharing the #4 Mercedes-AMG GT3 took third place after two hours of racing in the penultimate fixture of the year at Brands Hatch, a result that was enough for the duo to maintain their lead in the overall standings. They now go into the finale at Donington Park 13 points clear of their nearest challengers. The title race in the team standings has meanwhile already been decided. Adam and Cottingham’s P3 taken in combination with a P4 for Jules Gounon (AND) and Ian Loggie (GBR) was enough for 2 Seas Motorsport to wrap up the championship title ahead of time. Chris Hart and James Wallis (both GBR) of Team Drivetac also had reason to celebrate after winning the Silver Am class at Brands Hatch in their #50 Mercedes-AMG GT3.
The fourth race weekend of the year in Vallelunga resulted in podium appearances for two Mercedes-AMG drivers. Italy’s Manuel Lasagni (C.Z. Bassano Racing) won the race, while his compatriot Tommaso Lovati (LEMA Racing) finished third.
ESET Cup Series:
Czechia’s Libor Milota has lifted the runner-up trophy in the GT3 class of the 2023 ESET Cup Series. At the season finale in Brno, the GT2 Motorsport man once again made three class podium appearances. Driving the number 3 Mercedes-AMG GT3, he finished both races on Saturday as runner-up in the GT3 category. On Sunday, Milota finished the last race of the current campaign third in class.
Mobileye GT World Challenge Esports Asia Sprint Series:
Dillan Tan (#114; SGP) clinched the 2023 championship for the Mercedes-AMG E-Sports Team Legion of Racers with a fourth win from five races. In a thrilling final race at the Suzuka Circuit, Andika Rama Maulana (#889; INA) took fourth overall in the championship with a P6 finish in the last race. This ends a very successful season for the Legion of Racers team, who were defending the title they won in 2022.