Tales from the paddock: Successful debut and a journey back through time

July 2019

Next weekend, Formula 1 returns to its roots at Silverstone; but first, Mercedes-AMG Motorsport had a debut at Portimao and participated in a show of classic cars at Goodwood

  • This is what happened: Results and facts
  • News from the Mercedes-AMG Motorsport teams
  • Social media news: What’s new online?


This is what happened: Results and facts

  • 24h Series: Successful race debut for the new Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the 24-hour race at Portimao
  • Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia: Roelof Bruins and Manuel Metzger win the first race at Fuji Speedway; Christina Nielsen and Darryl O’Young on the podium in Race 2

News snippets

Silverstone, here we come: Formula 1 returns to the Home of British Motor Racing, which hosted the first ever race in the premier class 69 years ago. It is also one of two home races this month for the team – the factories in Brackley and Brixworth are just a stone’s throw from the historic track. In recent years, the team has enjoyed many successes at Silverstone: between 2013 and 2017, the Silver Arrows won the British Grand Prix five times in a row, four of these victories going to local favourite Lewis Hamilton. The brand with the three-pointed star has a tally of eleven wins so far at Silverstone. For the Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+, the race weekend marks the return to the location of its first public outing: it was at the shakedown around the Silverstone circuit on 13 February that the team showcased its tenth F1 car of the modern era.

Goodwood Festival of Speed: There were donuts, burnouts and yet more donuts as Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Ocon indulged themselves at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. The two of them kept the crowd well entertained as they drove the F1 W08 up the famous incline. But there were, of course, plenty of motorsport classics to admire in Goodwood. For example, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR, winner of the 1955 Mille Miglia, which Esteban took out for a run. As part of the 125 Years of Motorsport anniversary celebrations, iconic racing cars such as the W 125, the W 165 R, the W 196 R Streamline and the 2018 DTM championship-winning Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM also met with interest and approval from the huge crowd of fans.

Promising premiere for the new Mercedes-AMG GT3 and class successes at Portimao: The first test under racing conditions for the new Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the 24-hour event at Autodromo do Algarve was judged to be a complete success. The Mercedes-AMG Team Driving Academy crew of Rik Breukers (NED), Maximilian Buhk (GER), Hubert Haupt (GER), Kenneth Heyer (GER) and Charles Putman (USA) went the full distance in the new high-performance car from Affalterbach, finishing sixth overall. Stefan Wendl, Head of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing, was well satisfied: “This has been a highly valuable test outing, which has enabled us to gain further important insights towards the final development of the new GT3. We witnessed a flawless race from our drivers and from the car itself. Unfortunately, the three punctures at a very early stage in the proceedings set us back, but we were able to sort them out quickly with Hankook. So to that extent, it was a successful race all round.”

The deployment of the new Mercedes-AMG GT3 was not the only achievement for Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing in the 24H Series race. The number 85 CP Racing car was fifth overall and second in the Pro-Am class. The team with its driver squad of Charles Espenlaub, Joe Foster, Shane Lewis and Charles Putman (all USA) is now second in the European Championship and handily placed for the title challenge.

Dominik Baumann (AUT), Ilmari Korpivaara (FIN), Marcus Paverud (NOR), Harald Schlotter (GER) and Yuri Wagner (LUX) in the number 710 Mercedes-AMG GT4 secured victory in the SPX class for Leipert Motorsport. The GT4 outfit moved up to take overall and class leadership in the Championship of the Continents. Another podium finish was achieved by the local favourites of the Portuguese Parkalgar Racing Team with second place in the GT4 class.

Victory and class win in the Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia: At the Fuji Speedway, Solite Indigo Racing celebrated their second win of the season in the Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia. Manuel Metzger (GER) crossed the finish line first in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 in Race 1 on Saturday, after his partner MG Choi (KOR) had handed over the car in first position. The Korean is currently second in the drivers’ standings and still very much in contention for the title. On Sunday, the number 99 car of Craft-Bamboo Racing driven by Christina Nielsen (DEN) and Darryl O’Young (HKG) took third place in an exciting finish. Second place in the Silver Cup brought further vital points for Mercedes-AMG in the GT World Challenge. Triple Eight Race Engineering rounded off a successful weekend for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 in Japan with second place in the Pro-Am class.

In the GT4 classification too, a Mercedes-AMG car finished first on Saturday. David Pun (HKG) and Jean-Marc Merlin (FRA) in the number 77 Craft-Bamboo Racing took the win. Another Mercedes-AMG GT4 duo made it onto the podium in third place: Ringo Chong (SGP) and Setiawan Santoso (INA) in the number 111 car entered by Team iRace who further extended their championship lead on Sunday with a P2 for the driver pairing of Joe Chi and Keo Chang (both TWN) and P3 again for the number 111 car.

Top Ten finishes in North America: There were two points-scoring results to celebrate in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the Michelin Pilot Challenge at the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. The Mercedes-AMG GT3 fielded by Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports and driven by Ben Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen (NED) finished in seventh place, as did Eric Foss and Jeff Mosing (both USA) in the number 56 Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4. In qualifying, Owen Trinkler (USA) secured the second pole position of the season for Team TGM.

Podium finishes and victory in the GT4 France and the GT Cup Open Europe: Mercedes-AMG GT4s registered two third places in the GT4 France at Lédénon. In the first of the two 60-minute races, the CD Sport pairing of Edouard Cauhaupé and Arthur Rougier (both FRA) came third. In the second race, it was the turn of Thomas Drouet and Benjamin Ricci (both FRA) in the number 88 AKKA ASP to claim the third podium spot. There was a victory to report in the two races of the GT Cup Open Europe at the Hungaroring: on Sunday, Guilherme Salas and Marcio Basso (both BRA) in the Mercedes-AMG GT4 fielded by Sports & You drove a lights-to-flag victory.

Social Media News

#W196: Exactly 65 years ago, the immortal Juan Manuel Fangio pulled off a memorable first win in Formula 1 for Mercedes. Together with Toto, we celebrate a truly iconic Mercedes-Benz racing car – the W 196.

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CaILlrJa7M

#MemoryRefresher: Formula 1 fan Andrew Walker has been blind since 1997. He can only remember the look of F1 cars from this era. We invited him to our factory on race day and introduced him to a modern F1 car.

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVRtETzGowg

#PurePitWall: Andrew Shovlin talks about some of the key topics arising from the Austrian Grand Prix – including what happened to Lewis’s front wing and why the team had to contend with overheating issues.

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Fhud_XwT1Q

#PETRONAS: Lewis Hamilton paid a visit to the team’s factory to meet two of the PETRONAS Motorsport interns – Kang and Pravin – who work in the team.

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEe2NpJWzlY


#AMGGT3: The 24H Portimao was also the premiere for the new Mercedes-AMG GT3. A brief version of the start and of the first hours of the 24hr race at Portimao can be seen in our video.

Watch video: www.facebook.com/MercedesAMGCustomerRacing/videos/2336665686621709/

Press Contact

  • Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Communications Director / F1-Communications
  • Tel: +44 1280 844484


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    #710 Mercedes-AMG GT4, Leipert Motorsport
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    #500 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Mercedes-AMG Team Driving Academy
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    #85 Mercedes-AMG GT3, CP Racing
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    #412 Mercedes-AMG GT4, Parkalgar Racing Team
  • mercedesamgcustomerracing_IMSA_CTMP_2019_05
    #33 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsport
  • mercedesamgcustomerracing_IMSA_CTMP_2019_07
    #56 Mercedes-AMG GT4, Murillo Racing
  • mercedesamgcustomerracing_IMSA_CTMP_2019_06
    #74 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Lone Star Racing
  • mercedesamgcustomerracing_IMSA_CTMP_2019_08
    #46 Mercedes-AMG GT4, Team TGM