Tales from the paddock: Home win in Berlin, podium lockout at Bathurst and a return to Europe

May 18, 2022

While the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team was chalking up a win and two podiums at its home races in Berlin last weekend, there was a historic one-two-three finish for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 at Bathurst

  • This is what happened: Results and facts
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This is what happened: Results and facts

  • Formula E: Nyck de Vries wins Sunday’s race in Berlin; Stoffel Vandoorne finishes in Top Three on both days
  • Intercontinental GT Challenge: Podium lockout for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 in 12-hour race at Bathurst
  • GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Cup: A victory and a brace of P2s for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the two races at Magny-Cours
  • GT4 France: A win and two further podiums for the Mercedes-AMG GT4 in the two races at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours
  • IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge: Mercedes-AMG GT4 victorious at Mid-Ohio

News snippets

Barcelona, here we come: After the inaugural Miami Grand Prix in Florida, Formula One returns to Europe next weekend for the 52nd Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The Spanish GP has now been hosted by Barcelona on 31 occasions. Other venues include Jarama (9 times), Jerez (5), Montjuich (4) and Pedralbes (2). Since 1991, F1 has been a more or less permanent annual fixture at the racetrack situated just outside the Catalan metropolis. Unsurprisingly, the two record winners on Spanish soil are the two record World Championship winners, Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton, both of whom have won six times in Barcelona. In terms of pole positions, Schumacher tops the leaderboard with seven P1 starts compared to Lewis’s six. The most successful team in the Spanish Grand Prix are Ferrari with a grand total of 13 winners’ trophies, the first of which came at Pedralbes in 1951; the Mercedes F1 Team is the second-most successful with nine wins so far. Lewis’s most recent win there came in 2021. The fastest ever race lap was posted by Max Verstappen with a time of 1:18.149 minutes set last year: the absolute lap record is 1:16.741 minutes, clocked by Lewis in Q3, also in the 2021 season.

Home victory in Berlin: The Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team has evidently developed a special affinity with the former Berlin-Tempelhof airport. The German capital has been a regular stop on ABB FIA Formula E World Championship itinerary since Season 1, and only once has the race not taken place on the concrete apron of Tempelhof. The Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team competed in Berlin for the first time on the closing weekend of the 2019 season, with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries recording a one-two finish there at the first attempt for the brand. One year later, the team clinched both World Championship titles at the same venue. And in Season 8, too, the temporary track was once again to prove a happy hunting ground for the team.

In the first race, Stoffel mounted a spirited charge through the field to a P3 finish and a well-deserved podium, a result which he reprised in the second race on Sunday. His team-mate Nyck had a difficult time on Saturday, but at least scored a point for tenth place. Starting from third on Sunday’s grid, however, he made a bold move in Turn 3 to catapult himself into the lead, a position that he then relinquished only briefly to activate Attack Mode.

For Nyck, it was victory number 4 in his 34th E-Prix. At the same time, he reached the 200-point career mark. Meanwhile Stoffel’s two podium finishes in Berlin raised his tally this season to five. In total, he has now made twelve podium appearances in the all-electric racing series. With his two third-place finishes in Berlin, he also broke through the 300-point barrier in this particular race series. After eight rounds of the season, Stoffel leads the Drivers’ Standings by a margin of twelve points ahead of Edoardo Mortara; the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team is in first place in the Team Championship. The action continues in three weeks’ time (4 June 2022) when the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship makes its debut on the streets of the Indonesian capital Jakarta.

Historic one-two-three in Bathurst: The Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing teams can look back on a memorable weekend on the Australian continent: Mercedes-AMG became the first manufacturer to monopolise the podium in the Bathurst 12 Hour. In an eventful race contested on the challenging Mount Panorama Circuit, Jules Gounon (FRA), Kenny Habul (AUS), Martin Konrad (AUT) and Luca Stolz (GER) driving the number 75 car fielded by SunEnergy1 Racing secured a first overall victory for the team since 2013. The number 91 Mercedes-AMG of Craft-Bamboo Racing driven by Maro Engel (GER), Daniel Juncadella (ESP) and Kevin Tse (HKG) finished second, a mere eight seconds behind, after fighting their way forward from 18th on the grid in sometimes tricky weather conditions that included rain and fog.

Joining the all-AMG podium party were third-placed Broc Feeney (AUS), Prince Jeffri Ibrahim (MYS) and Shane van Gisbergen (NZL) of Triple Eight Race Engineering (#888). The result also confirmed Triple Eight Engineering as the most successful team in the GT World Challenge Australia, of which the Bathurst 12 Hours constitutes a component round.

Lights-to-flag victory in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge: Murillo Racing celebrated their first win of the season at Mid-Ohio Raceway. In the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, Eric Foss and Kenton Koch (both USA) sharing the cockpit of the number 56 Mercedes-AMG GT4 started from pole position. At the end of the two-hour race, the duo celebrated a start-finish victory. Brent Mosing and Tim Probert (both USA) in the number 65 sister car were meanwhile triumphant in the Bronze classification to make it a perfect race weekend for Murillo Racing.

More success to report from the GT World Challenge Sprint Cup: It was another rewarding weekend for AKKODIS ASP in the GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Cup at Magny-Cours. The #87 Mercedes-AMG GT3 driven by Thomas Drouet (FRA) and Caspar Stevenson (GBR) and the #89 of Timur Boguslavskiy (FIA) and Raffaele Marciello (SUI) started the first of the two 60-minute races from P5 and P6 on the grid. As runners-up in the general classification, Boguslavskiy and Marciello secured their third podium finish in three successive Sprint Cup races; Drouet and Stevenson in the #87 car also secured a podium finish for third place in the Silver Cup. Sunday’s race had an even more gratifying outcome for the Mercedes-AMG brand. Starting from pole position, the number 89 pairing delivered a comfortable lights-to-flag victory. The number 88 AKKODIS ASP sister car driven by Maximilian Götz (GER) and Jim Pla (FRA) crossed the finish line just behind them to make it a Mercedes-AMG one-two.

The races in the GT4 France Series last weekend were no less productive for the Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing teams. Thomas Drouet and Paul Evrard (both FRA) in the number 88 Mercedes-AMG GT4 of AKKODIS ASP were also victorious in Race 2. Olivier Jouffret and Eric Tremoulet in the number 64 car of Jouffruit by Vic’Team were especially persistent in Race 1; the two Frenchmen steadily worked their way forward from tenth to eventually cross the finish line in second place.

Mercedes-AMG makes its mark in Italian GT: The two-hour endurance race of the Italian GT Championship took place last weekend on the Pergusa circuit in Sicily. After starting from eighth, Jop Rappange (NED) and Emio Pesce (ITA) in the number 44 Antonelli Motorsport secured an excellent third place in the GT3 Pro-AM class. The next round of the Italian GT Championship will be held at the Mugello circuit near Florence on the weekend of 15 - 17 July.

Podium finishes also in Great Britain: UK-based fans saw some great racing action last weekend. The three-hour British Endurance Championship demands intense teamwork from the drivers, and this is exactly what Tom Jackson and Wayne Marrs (both GBR) delivered for the Rob Boston Racing team (Mercedes-AMG GT3 #160). Their sound strategy was ultimately rewarded with second place.

Social Media News

#F1RaceDebrief: Ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, our Akkodis F1 Race Debrief takes a look back at the team’s most recent competitive outing in Miami. Mike Elliott talks about safety cars, strategy, upgrades, collisions and more.

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wj1gfM5614

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