Tales from the paddock – FIA GT World Cup winner Raffaele Marciello: “Probably the best weekend of my whole career”

Nov 20, 2019

It’s the dawn of a new era for Mercedes-Benz as the brand makes its Formula E debut this weekend, but before that, Mercedes-AMG GT3 driver Raffaele Marciello was lifting the FIA GT World Cup winner’s trophy in Macau.

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

This is what happened: Results and facts

  • Formula 1: Lewis Hamilton finishes the Brazilian Grand Prix in P7
  • FIA GT World Cup: Raffaele Marciello wins the race in Macau
  • 24H Series: Victory for the driver quartet of Jeroen Bleekemolen, Felipe Fraga, Ben Keating and Cooper MacNeil at the Circuit of the Americas

News snippets

Season opener: The summer break is over, and the sixth season of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship gets underway next weekend. This represents the dawn of a new era for the Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team – a venture that poses many new challenges. The first of these is the 2.49km track in Diriyah which hosts the first two races on the series calendar. At 12:00 GMT (15:00 local time) on Friday and Saturday, Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries will line up for the first two E-Prix of the year. The circuit comprises 21 turns – nine left-handers and twelve right-handers – and 40% straights to be taken at full power. This technically demanding track is driven in a clockwise direction and features several climbs. The time difference between basic output of 200 kW and maximum power of 250 kW amounts to 2.5 seconds per lap.

Mercedes-AMG Motorsport extends excellent run of results in the FIA GT World Cup: 2014, 2015, 2017 and now 2019 – Mercedes-AMG Motorsport has once again won the legendary Macau Grand Prix. Raffaele Marciello (ITA) of Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing won the FIA GT World Cup title with a perfect performance. It was the culmination of an outstanding weekend for the 24-year-old. First, he set the best time in qualifying to secure pole position for the qualification race on Friday. Marciello then proceeded to beat off the challenge from the world’s GT elite. In Saturday’s qualification race, he recorded a comfortable lights-to-flag victory. On Sunday, he displayed nerves of steel – neither a lengthy safety car deployment nor a minor contact with an opponent on the final lap were ever going to deprive him of victory. Two other Mercedes-AMG drivers finished in the Top Ten: Edoardo Mortara (SUI, Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing) in P6 and Maro Engel (GER, Mercedes-AMG Team Group M Racing) in P9. This impressive overall result for the brand was rewarded with the victory in the manufacturers’ classification. In addition, Roelof Bruins (NED) of the Customer Racing team Solite Indigo Racing won the Silver class with P11 overall.

The Suncity Group’s Greater Bay Area GT Cup, also contested on the Macau Guia Circuit, produced a one-two win for the Mercedes-AMG GT4. First-placed Kevin Tse (MAC) and runner-up Philip Kadoorie (HKG) had started from the front row of the grid. Che Wei Kan (TPE) in another Mercedes-AMG GT4 finished sixth for Team KRC.

Perfect end to the season in the 24H SERIES: As in 2018, Team BLACK FALCON claimed victory in the 24-hour race at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Jeroen Bleekemolen (NED), Felipe Fraga (BRA), Ben Keating (USA) and Cooper MacNeil (USA) dominated the last event of the 24H SERIES from the very start. The quartet in the number 4 Mercedes-AMG GT3 secured pole position, which was the foundation for what turned out to be a comfortable win. They also set a new record for the number of laps completed – 610. The Customer Racing teams had an all-round successful weekend in North America with three podiums in different classes. The number 85 Mercedes-AMG GT3 fielded by CP Racing took second place in the A6-Am class ahead of the number 90 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Toksport WRT. The number 464 Mercedes-AMG GT4 of BLACK FALCON Team Textar finished second in the SPX class. This final weekend of the Championship of the Continents has put CP Racing second in the team standings.

Excitement mounts ahead of title decider at Kyalami: With the FIA GT World Cup in Macau out of the way, attention now shifts to the Kyalami 9 Hour, the final fixture on the series calendar. This nine-hour endurance race will be held on the Kyalami track just outside the South African metropolis of Johannesburg for the first time since 1982. It will also be the grand finale of a highly successful season for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport in the Intercontinental GT Challenge. The performance and sports car brand from Affalterbach is in the running for two titles – it leads the manufacturers championship and, in Maximilian Buhk (GER), has the current leader in the drivers’ standings. There are no fewer than three AMG drivers topping the table: Buhk, who is on 58 points, leads Raffaele Marciello (ITA) on 55 points and Maximilian Götz (GER) who is equal third with Frederic Vervisch (Audi) on 52. Because of the driver partnerships in the season finale (Buhk shares the #999 with Marciello and Maro Engel while Götz shares the #10 cockpit with Luca Stolz and Yelmer Buurman), the situation in the title chase is as follows: If Buhk wins the race in South Africa or crosses the line ahead of Götz or Vervisch, he is the 2019 IGTC champion. Should Buhk finish second or third, he has to hope that neither of his third-placed rivals (Götz and Vervisch) wins. Maximilian Götz can also clinch the 2019 IGTC Championship with a win in South Africa. With the various permutations on offer, a thrilling conclusion to the campaign is in prospect. The Kyalami 9 Hour will start on Saturday 23rd November at 1pm local time (11am GMT), and the result should be known at 10pm local time (8pm GMT).

Three questions for Raffaele Marciello

By winning the FIA GT World Cup in Macau, Raffaele Marciello has, in impressive fashion, underlined his reputation as one of the world’s best GT drivers. With this maiden victory in such a prestigious race, the 24-year-old Italian has now secured another much-coveted title at the wheel of a Mercedes-AMG GT3 to add to his drivers’ title in the 2018 Blancpain GT Series.

Raffaele, many congratulations on your victory in Macau. Please share with us your impressions of the weekend.

Raffaele Marciello: Thanks! The weekend at Macau was probably the most perfect of my career – it went really well. It started off with me securing pole position in qualifying on my last flying lap, and it continued in the same vein. Victory in the qualification race, victory in the main race – two flawless races. The car was perfect to drive, and I had so much fun out on the track. A great performance by the whole team!

You won the Blancpain GT Series in 2018, and now you’ve won the FIA GT World Cup in 2019. Which of these two titles means more to you?

Raffaele Marciello: It’s hard to compare one title with the other. In the Blancpain GT Series, you can compensate for one bad result over the whole season. At Macau, you can’t afford to make a single mistake, because you’re up against the most competitive field in GT racing. If you allow even the smallest error to creep in, you immediately get punished for it. That’s why it’s such a great feeling to leave all the big names trailing behind.

The season isn’t over for you yet. At the weekend, you will be competing in the final of the Intercontinental GT Challenge (IGTC) in Kyalami. You are currently second in the drivers’ championship behind Maximilian Buhk, but you cannot win the title because you’re sharing the same cockpit. What will be motivating you as you go into the race?

Raffaele Marciello: I’m going into the last race of the season fully focused. It’s a new track for me, but it’s the same for all the others as well. It’s both a historic and a prestigious event. Together, we will be going all out for the race victory. Although I can’t win the drivers’ championship myself, I will be doing my very best to help Maxi and Mercedes-AMG win both titles. In any case, I am really looking forward to Kyalami.

Social Media News

#Superfans: What a nice surprise! Bose invited six Mercedes superfans to test the new ‘Lewis Hamilton Voice Assistant’ on the latest Bose 700 series headphones.

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HQM5GTxAZg

#MacauGP / #MercedesAMGMotorsport: Raffaele Marciello and the Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing team enjoyed a perfect weekend in Macau, where they won the FIA GT World Cup.

Watch video: www.facebook.com/MercedesAMGCustomerRacing/posts/2787843471279815

Tales from the paddock - KW47
Tales from the paddock - KW47