Tales from the paddock: From debut to comeback in the space of a week

Oct 28, 2020

The first ever Formula One race at Portimão last weekend is to be followed only a few days later by the return of Imola to the calendar.

  • 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 One: Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas register a one-two win in the Portuguese Grand Prix
  • GT4 European Series: Two podium places for the Mercedes-AMG GT4 on the Spa-Francorchamps rollercoaster in the Ardennes
  • Super GT: Top Three finish for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 on the Suzuka International Racing Course

News snippets

Facts & Figures from Portugal: After a 24-year absence, Formula One returned to Portugal last weekend. On its debut as a Formula One circuit, the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimão turned out to be a favourable venue for Mercedes. On Saturday, Lewis Hamilton booked the 97th pole position of his F1 career, qualifying just ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas. On Sunday, Lewis set a new F1 record with his 92nd Grand Prix victory, moving clear of record world championship winner Michael Schumacher. Valtteri came home in second place to complete the team’s 57th one-two victory in the premier class of motorsport. The drivers and team have no time to catch their breath, however, as yet another track makes its series return, albeit with the weekend shortened from three days to two.

Imola, here we come: Imola is uncharted territory for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team which has never before competed on the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari. However, the race track in Emilia Romagna has a famous history in the highest echelon of the sport, with 27 Grands Prix having been contested there between 1980 and 2006. The first of these had the status of Italian Grand Prix, while all subsequent events went by the name of San Marino Grand Prix. On the occasion of the circuit returning to the itinerary, this year’s race will be known as the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix; it will be the third time this year that Italy has hosted a Grand Prix. The last time that the 4,909-metre circuit staged an F1 race was in 2006 when the winner was Michael Schumacher, who is by far the most successful driver at Imola with no fewer than seven victories. Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost each won three times. However, the name Imola is not only associated with exciting wheel-to-wheel action and great victories – it also brings back sad memories of the tragic deaths of Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna on the race weekend of the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.

Team launch: Thursday 29 October is a big date in the diary for the Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team. At 14:00 CET, the launch takes place of the new Mercedes-Benz EQ Silver Arrow 02 and its driver pairing for season 7 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. In a video premiere on the team’s social media channels, Team Principal Ian James and the two drivers give a preview of the challenges they face in their second season in the all-electric racing series.

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUXu3yQS3SA

24 Hours of Spa buoys title hopes in the GT World Challenge Europe: An eventful 72nd running of the Total 24 Hours of Spa produced a respectable Top Ten finish and a one-two in the Silver Cup for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport; it also boosted the prospects of multiple titles in the GT World Challenge Europe. Starting from pole position, the number 88 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG initially dominated the race action. With the Mercedes-AMG GT3 still leading the field at the six-hour mark, the driver trio of Timur Boguslavskiy (RUS), Felipe Fraga (BRA) and Raffaele Marciello (ITA) scored maximum points towards the GT World Challenge Europe. Boguslavskiy thus defended his lead in the drivers’ championship on 137 points ahead of team-mate Marciello (127.5). AKKA ASP also occupy second place in the team classification, not far behind the current leaders. Unfortunately, the team was unable to capitalise on its flying start to the endurance classic at Spa. Shortly before the twelve-hour mark, damage sustained in a collision forced the number 88 car to abandon the race. It was ultimately to be the number 4 of Mercedes-AMG Team HRT that crossed the finish line as the best-placed Mercedes-AMG GT3. Vincent Abril (FRA), Maro Engel (GER) and Luca Stolz (GER) took the chequered flag in seventh place after 24 hours of racing under extremely difficult conditions on a wet track. In the Silver Cup, Customer Racing teams celebrated a one-two finish. Sergei Afanasiev (RUS), Michele Beretta (ITA), Hubert Haupt (GER) and Gabriele Piana (ITA) in the number 5 car of Haupt Racing Team won the classification ahead of the number 84 of HTP-WINWARD Motorsport driven by Indy Dontje (NED), Philip Ellis (SUI) and Russell Ward (USA). A P4 finish for Madpanda Motorsport has taken them to the top of the Silver Cup team standings and also given the lead in the drivers’ classification to Ezequiel Perez Companc (ARG). And in the Endurance Cup classification of the SRO Series, Mercedes-AMG Motorsport also has good prospects in multiple championships, all of which will be decided one way or another in the grand finale of the GT World Challenge Europe – the 1,000-kilometre race at the Paul Ricard circuit (13th - 15th November).

The support programme of the Total 24 Hours of Spa also included two races in the GT4 European Series. The Selleslagh Racing Team duo of Willem Meijer (NED) and Esteban Muth (BEL) in the number 30 Mercedes-AMG GT4 finished third and second overall. Bob Herber in the number 31 sister car also posted a P2 and a P3 in the AM class.

Further race wins and podium successes in racing series around the world: At the premiere of the Portimao GT Pirelli Challenge, held as part of the Formula 1 Grand Prix support programme, veteran Mercedes-AMG GT3 driver Janine Shoffner (GBR) secured victory in the second of the two 25-minute races. Driving the number 23 car fielded by GetSpeed Performance, she crossed the finish line first, ahead of team-mate and husband John Shoffner (USA). Third place in the first race was taken by José Monroy (POR) in the Mercedes-AMG GT4 of MDriving Racing; like Janine Shoffner, he also won his classification on both days.

The Mercedes-AMG GT3 celebrated a podium lockout in the ESET V4 Cup, which is contested in Poland, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. In the third of three races at the Hungaroring, Marcin Jedlinski (POL, Olimp Racing) in the number 77 car won ahead of Alyyah Koloc (CZE, Buggyra Zero Millage Racing) in the number 29 and Stanislav Jedlinski (POL) in the number 5 Olimp Racing sister car. In the first two races, Jedlinski also finished on the podium in second place. Koloc’s team-mate Adam Lacko (CZE, #29) contributed another podium finish with a P3 in Race 1.

The sixth round of the Japanese Super GT at Suzuka once again ended with a Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing Team crew on the podium. Tatsuya Kataoka and Nobuteru Taniguchi (both JPN) in the number 4 car fielded by GOODSMILE RACING & TeamUKYO mounted a heroic charge through the field from 14th on the grid to finish in third place at the end of the 52 laps.

Social Media News

#Portimão: Bitumen, tarmac, setup and simulations. Mike talks about tyre management and the extensive preparatory work for the Formula One debut in Portimão.

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_n39BfqITA

#Goodwood: Esteban recently drove the Mercedes F1 W08 at Goodwood Speedweek. The event combined the best of the Festival of Speed with the Revival – absolutely fantastic!

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gGU_ShXBHQ

#INEOS: A glimpse behind the scenes at the Formula One of the seas: this is how the America’s Cup partnership between Mercedes F1 and INEOS TEAM UK works.

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ut74pQAFhBs

#MercedesAMGMotorsport / #Spa24H: The Mercedes-AMG GT3s defied the difficult conditions that set in on the rain-soaked Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in the final hours of the race. Here are the highlights from the closing stage of the Total 24 Hours of Spa.

Watch video: fb.watch/1mDjomcFGH/

#MercedesAMGMotorsport / #Spa24H: The fastest driver on the 7km Ardennes rollercoaster on his way to qualifying in P1 – a video recording of the Super Pole lap set by Raffaele Marciello (Mercedes-AMG Team AKKA ASP).

Watch video: fb.watch/1n_qqMMu6R/

Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Portugal GP 2020. Lewis Hamilton
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Portugal GP 2020. Lewis Hamilton
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Portugal GP 2020. Lewis Hamilton
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Portugal GP 2020. Lewis Hamilton
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Portugal GP 2020. Lewis Hamilton
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Portugal GP 2020. Lewis Hamilton
Gabriele Piana, Hubert Haupt, Michele Beretta, Sergei Afanasiev (from left): Haupt Racing Team
#5 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Haupt Racing Team
#4 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT
#20 Mercedes-AMG GT3, SPS automotive performance
#88 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Mercedes-AMG Team AKKA ASP
#84 Mercedes-AMG GT3, HTP-WINWARD Motorsport
#90 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Madpanda Motorsport
#74 Mercedes-AMG GT3, RAM Racing
Lluc Ibañez and Xavier Lloveras, NM Racing Team, at the podium ceremony (1st place)
#15 Mercedes-AMG GT4, NM Racing Team
#87 Mercedes-AMG GT4, AKKA ASP Team
#30 Mercedes-AMG GT4, Selleslagh Racing Team