Tales from the paddock: From Dubai to Santiago – first triumphs of the new campaign

January 2020

The 2020 motor racing season is gradually getting underway. From Formula E to GT, the brand with the three-pointed star already has a number of successes to report.

  • 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

  • Formula E: Nyck de Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne both make it into the Santiago Top Six
  • Formula E: The Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team occupies second place in the team standings after three of the 14 rounds in the 2019/20 season - Stoffel Vandoorne leads the drivers’ championship
  • 24H Series: Victory for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the 24 Hours of Dubai

News snippets

Facts & figures from the race in Santiago: The ABB FIA Formula E Championship entered a new calendar year last weekend with one of the hottest races on the itinerary. The Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team scored points for the third time in the third round of its debut season. On the Parque O’Higgins circuit in the Chilean capital, Nyck de Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne finished fifth and sixth respectively. For rookie Nyck de Vries, this was the best result yet of his budding Formula E career. Meanwhile, Stoffel Vandoorne was scoring points for the third time in a row, a consistency that is paying off in terms of the drivers’ championship which the Belgian currently leads by three points. In the team classification, the Mercedes-Benz EQ Formel E Team is second, four points behind the leaders.

Unfinished business in the IMSA opener at Daytona: Will the new Mercedes-AMG GT3 enjoy the same level of success as last year? Team Riley Motorsport start the season opener of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship as defending champions in the endurance classification of the Michelin Endurance Cup. Lawson Aschenbach (USA), Felipe Fraga (BRA), Ben Keating and Gar Robinson (both USA) will be contesting the Rolex 24 At Daytona, sharing the cockpit of the new Mercedes-AMG GT3 (start number 74) which is about to make its North American debut, having already made its first competitive outing of 2020 in the Dubai 24 Hours. Riley Motorsports have finished the past three years leading the endurance classification, which is an amalgam of the results from the races at Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Road Atlanta. The 24-hour race at Daytona is the only one of the four in which the team suffered a big disappointment last year. Riley Motorsports had held the lead for a long time before torrential rain turned the running order upside down. The team ultimately finished seventh in the GTD classification. The Daytona classic is the first of the twelve races making up the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship; it starts on Saturday 25th January at 13:35 local time (18:35 GMT).

Three weeks ago (3rd - 5th January), the Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing teams had the opportunity to prepare for the 24-hour race in Daytona at the Roar Before the Rolex, completing approximately 5,600 test kilometres on the Daytona International Speedway. Team Winward Racing made a strong impression during the three-day tests: the pairing of Indy Dontje (NED) and Russell Ward (USA) in the number 4 Mercedes-AMG GT3 set the fastest time in three of the six test sessions and go into the opening race of the Michelin Pilot Challenge with excellent prospects. The four-hour race for cars in the Grand Sport and TCR classes will be held as part of the supporting programme of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Friday 24th January, one day before the 24-hour classic itself. No fewer than seven GT4 cars built in Affalterbach will compete in the race, which marks the start of the Mercedes-AMG campaign to defend the title in the manufacturers’ championship of the Michelin Pilot Challenge.

Further titles and victories for Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing: As this first Tales from the Paddock of 2020 goes online, we bring you an update on what has been happening since our last issue. As in the first fixture on the 2020 race calendar, a Customer Racing team topped the podium in the last race of 2019 - a great way to usher in the tenth anniversary season of the Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing programme. In the grand finale of the Endurance Brasil held towards the end of December, Xandy and Xandinho Negrão in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 fielded by Scuderia 111 were crowned GT3 Drivers’ Champions of the Brazilian endurance series. The father-son duo earned the title with a consistent performance throughout the season, in which they won three of eight races and finished runners-up on three occasions.

And the first race of the year also ended with victories for cars from Affalterbach. In the 24-hour race in Dubai, BLACK FALCON with their driver line-up of Khaled Al Qubaisi (UAE), Ben Barker (GBR), Jeroen Bleekemolen (NED), Hubert Haupt (GER) and Manuel Metzger (GER) secured victory in the season opener of the 24H Series. It was the fifth time that Mercedes-AMG and also BLACK FALCON had finished first in the general classification of the endurance race in the Emirates as well as the 13th podium appearance since 2011 for the performance and sports car brand from Affalterbach. There was the added bonus of P1 in the GT4 class for the Mercedes-AMG GT4 entered by Team Atlas BX Motorsports and in the GT3-AM class for MP Motorsport, showing that the dominance of the brand extends beyond the general classification: 13 class podiums within five years and five GT3-AM class wins in a row speak for themselves.

Social Media News

#F1W11: It’s going to be a very special Valentine’s Day: the Mercedes Formula 1 car for the 2020 season will be making its track debut on Friday 14 February in the context of the shakedown at Silverstone.

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PHtCwKStm4

#24HDUBAI / #MercedesAMGMotorsport: Cut short by torrential rain but no less eventful for that - highlights of the Dubai 24-hour race on video.

Watch video: www.facebook.com/MercedesAMGCustomerRacing/posts/2912941378770023

Press Contact

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


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    Formula E - Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team, Santiago E-Prix 2020. Nyck de Vries
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    Formula E - Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team, Santiago E-Prix 2020. Nyck de Vries
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    Formula E - Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team, Santiago E-Prix 2020. Nyck de Vries
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    Formula E - Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team, Santiago E-Prix 2020. Nyck de Vries
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    Formula E - Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team, Santiago E-Prix 2020. Nyck de Vries
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    Formula E - Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team, Santiago E-Prix 2020. Nyck de Vries Stoffel Vandoorne
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    Formula E - Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team, Santiago E-Prix 2020. Stoffel Vandoorne
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    Formula E - Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team, Santiago E-Prix 2020. Nyck de Vries
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    Formula E - Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team, Santiago E-Prix 2020. Nyck de Vries
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    BLACK FALCON with drivers Jeroen Bleekemolen, Manuel Metzger, Ben Barker, Hubert Haupt und Khaled Al Qubaisi (from left)
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    #4 Mercedes-AMG GT3, BLACK FALCON
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    #403 Mercedes-AMG GT4, Atlas BX Motorsports
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    #19 Mercedes-AMG GT3, MP Motorsport
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    #35 Mercedes-AMG GT4 and #74 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Riley Motorsports
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    #74 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Riley Motorsports
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    Mercedes-AMG GT4, Riley Motorsports: Fahrer Indy Dontje/Russell Ward
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    Mercedes-AMG GT4s: #35 Riley Motorsports, #57 Winward Racing, #56 Murillo Racing, #33 Winward Racing