Tales from the Paddock: Changing the game in Spa

Aug 24, 2022

Formula One returns from its summer break at Spa-Francorchamps as Mercedes-AMG celebrates a special anniversary.

  • 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

  • ADAC GT Masters: Podium finish for Daniel Juncadella and Raffaele Marciello in Race 2 at Lausitzring
  • GT World Challenge America: Philip Ellis and Russell Ward win both races at Road America
  • GT America: A victory and a P2 for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the two races at Road America
  • British Endurance Championship: A Mercedes-AMG GT3 one-two at Donington Park

News snippets

Spa, here we come: The F1 season is about to resume after the mandatory summer break. The 14th round of the season will take place this weekend at the legendary Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. It will be the 55th time that the Belgian Grand Prix has been hosted by the track nestled in the Ardennes Forest. The contest has also been staged at Zolder (10 races) and Nivelles (twice). The record winner of this event is Michael Schumacher (six victories), followed by Ayrton Senna (five), Jim Clark, Kimi Räikkönen and Lewis Hamilton (four each). Ferrari are the most successful team with 18 victories, ahead of McLaren (14) and Lotus (8). Mercedes have won five races in Belgium so far, the first in 1955 courtesy of the unforgettable Juan Manuel Fangio, the other four with Lewis (3 wins) and Nico Rosberg (1) in the cockpit. Mercedes-powered cars have won in Belgium on eleven occasions. The absolute lap record is 1:41.252 minutes, set by Lewis in 2020, while the fastest race lap was posted by Valtteri Bottas in 2018 in a time of 1:46.286 minutes.

Changing the game: For 55 years, the three letters AMG have been synonymous with success and innovation on the race track. Racing is part of the company's DNA, which is why AMG could hardly have chosen a better place than the legendary Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps to celebrate its 55th anniversary. As part of the occasion, the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team will be entering the Belgian GP with a special look, including the Mercedes-AMG F1 W13 E Performance. The 'E PERFORMANCE' designation is also used on all Mercedes-AMG performance hybrid cars, which feature direct cascade technology from F1 and, in particular, the work of Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains in Brixworth.

The racing cars of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell will compete at Spa sporting a special AMG logo with a 55th anniversary signet and a large vintage starting number on the sidepods, reminiscent of the legendary 300 SEL. The 55-year signet will also be displayed on the safety car. A replica of the W13 with special livery will be exhibited in the Fan Zone. In addition to the livery changes already mentioned, it will also have special design that features a mixture of the familiar three-pointed star and the red AMG pattern on the chassis and engine cover. The design harks back to the 300 SEL 6.8 AMG, the so-called 'Red Pig', which wrote a very special chapter in AMG motorsport history. The car achieved a class victory at the Spa 24 Hours in 1971 and finished second overall.

In addition, an AMG ONE, the 300 SEL and the brand new GT3 EDITION 55, a collector's item celebrating the 55th anniversary, will be on display on the Mercedes-AMG stage in the Fan Zone. Spectators will also be able to marvel at these cars on Thursday and Saturday as part of a show run on the race track. On Thursday, Lewis (AMG ONE), George (GT3) and Team Principal Toto Wolff ('Red Pig') will be behind the wheel of the cars.

55 years of AMG: On 1st June 1967, an overwhelming passion for motorsport gave rise to a unique company that has since repeatedly set standards in the performance and sports car market over the 55 years of its existence, namely AMG. With its development from a two-man start-up to a state-of-the-art development site in Affalterbach, Mercedes-AMG has written an impressive success story on and off the race track. Since that time, the brand has produced legendary cars such as the 300 SEL 6.8 AMG racing touring car, dubbed the 'Red Pig', the CLK DTM and the SLS AMG Electric Drive, which have repeatedly confirmed Mercedes-AMG's reputation as a game changer. The latest example of this is the Mercedes-AMG ONE, which brings F1 hybrid technology from the race track to the road - and makes its way back to the legendary Spa-Francorchamps race track in the Ardennes this coming weekend.

Leaving the series as double World Champions: After three seasons and 42 races, the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team bade farewell to the all-electric racing series at the season finale of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship in Seoul, having successfully defended their two titles. With a final tally of seven victories, 23 podium finishes and two World Championship doubles in successive campaigns, the team competed in its final race. In what happened to be South Korea's debut as a race venue, Stoffel Vandoorne secured the Drivers' Title for himself and, together with team-mate Nyck de Vries, the Team Championship for good measure. Second place in the Team Standings went to Venturi Racing, whose cars were also powered by a Mercedes-built powertrain. Their driver, Edoardo Mortara, won the final race of the season to make it victory number eight for the Mercedes-EQ Silver Arrow 02 in the 2021/22 season, more than any other car on the grid. The previous Season 7 (2021-22) had also been dominated by the factory team and Venturi Racing who won five races between them.

Raffaele Marciello defends overall ADAC GT Masters lead at the Lausitzring: The Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing teams were intent on carrying forward the momentum from their two wins at the Nürburgring to the race weekend at the Lausitzring. However, their task was made considerably more difficult by rainy and at times unpredictable conditions. The best-placed of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 contingent in Saturday's race was the number 48 car fielded by MANN-FILTER Team LANDGRAF. Championship leader Raffaele Marciello (SUI) and his new team-mate Daniel Juncadella (ESP) finished fifth. Things went somewhat better on Sunday, with the track having dried out overnight. Marciello and Juncadella, who were down in seventh position with two laps to go, were the beneficiaries of a chaotic run-in to the chequered flag, in which several cars collided with each other. The #48 skilfully steered clear of trouble and managed to secure an unexpected podium spot with third place. After five of seven race weekends, Marciello continues to lead the overall standings by a ten-point margin.

Victory for WINWARD Racing in both races at Road America: Philip Ellis (SUI) and Russell Ward (USA) claimed maximum points as their reward for an outstanding performance on the fifth race weekend of the GT World Challenge America. In qualifying and in the two 90-minute races on the historic 6.5km Road America circuit in the US state of Wisconsin, the WINWARD Racing duo in the number 33 Mercedes-AMG GT3 left the opposition trailing in their wake. The Pro drivers started rounds nine and ten of the season from pole position, from where their lead was never in any danger. WINWARD Racing secured two convincing lights-to-flag victories, which earned the team a grand total of 50 championship points.

The supporting programme included two races in both the GT America and GT4 America series. George Kurtz (USA) in the #04 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of CrowdStrike Racing by Riley Motorsports finished second in the first GT America race, which he followed up with overall victory on Sunday. Meanwhile, in GT4 America, Gavin Sanders (CAN) and Michai Stephens (USA) in the #34 Mercedes-AMG GT4 of Conquest Racing /JMF Motorsports took two class podiums - a P2 and a P3 in the Silver category.

Level pegging ahead of GT World Challenge Asia season finale: Sportsland SUGO was the venue for rounds seven and eight of the GT World Challenge Asia season at the weekend. Triple Eight JMR's Nick Foster (AUS) and Prince Jefri Ibrahim (MAS) had travelled to Murata in Japan as championship leaders, but they were unable to continue their run of great performances so far this season. The pairing in the #99 Mercedes-AMG GT3 could finish no higher than ninth and fourth in the two one-hour races, which meant they lost their lead and will now go into the season finale in Okayama in September level on points with their main opponents.

The weekend proved more successful for Brian Lee (TPE) and Hideto Yasuoka (JPN) in the number 14 car of GTO Racing. They won both races in the GT4 category to take the lead in the team and drivers' championships.

Success at Donington Park and the Slovakia Ring: On the penultimate weekend of the British Endurance Championship at Donington Park, Tom Jackson and Wayne Marrs (both GBR) returned to the top of the overall standings. Sharing the cockpit of the #160 Mercedes-AMG GT3, they won the two-hour race from pole position. Hugo Cook and Sacha Kakad (both GBR) finished second in the number 92 car of Simpsons Motorsport, thereby delivering a memorable one-two win for Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing.

In the ESET Cup Series, contested at the Slovakia Ring last weekend, Libor Milota (CZE) driving the #2 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of GT2 Motorsport secured two wins in the D4 GT3 class. Predrag Šainovic (SLO) in the #99 Mercedes-AMG GT4 of LEMA Racing contributed another class win in the one-hour Endurance race with victory in the D4 GT4 category.

Social Media News

#MyJobInF1: Introducing Emma. She is Senior Reliability Engineer in our team, working both at trackside and in the factory. She makes sure that the different parts of the car are functioning as they should.

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVbnck-i4p4

#MercedesAMG: We take a look at the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed and watch Esteban Gutierrez in the AMG ONE climbing the hill at speed.

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6i29t40hr4

#160 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Rob Boston Racing
#48 Mercedes-AMG GT3, MANN-FILTER Team LANDGRAF, and #8 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Mercedes-AMG Team ZVO
Raffaele Marciello and Daniel Juncadella, #48 Mercedes-AMG GT3, MANN-FILTER Team LANDGRAF, with Jules Gounon and Fabian Schiller, #4 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Drago Racing Team ZVO
#8 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Mercedes-AMG Team ZVO
#2 Mercedes-AMG GT3, GT2 Motorsport, and #14 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Good Speed Racing Team
Raffaele Marciello and Daniel Juncadella, #48 Mercedes-AMG GT3, MANN-FILTER Team LANDGRAF, with Jan Marschalkowski and Marvin Dienst, #8 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Mercedes-AMG Team ZVO
#99 and #888 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Triple Eight JMR
#14 Mercedes-AMG GT4, GTO Racing Team
Brian Lee and Hideto Yasuoka, #14 Mercedes-AMG GT4, GTO Racing Team
#33 Mercedes-AMG GT4, Team GMB
Formula E - Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team, Seoul E-Prix 2022. Stoffel Vandoorne
Formula E - Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team, Seoul E-Prix 2022. Stoffel Vandoorne
Formula E - Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team, Seoul E-Prix 2022.
Formula E - Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team, Seoul E-Prix 2022. Stoffel Vandoorne
Formula E - Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team, Seoul E-Prix 2022. Stoffel Vandoorne
Formula E - Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team, Seoul E-Prix 2022. Stoffel Vandoorne
Formula E - Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team, Seoul E-Prix 2022. Stoffel Vandoorne
Formula E - Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team, Seoul E-Prix 2022. Stoffel Vandoorne
#92 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Simpsons Motorsport
#99 Mercedes-AMG GT4, LEMA Racing
#33 Mercedes-AMG GT3, WINWARD Racing
Philip Ellis and Russell Ward, #33 Mercedes-AMG GT3, WINWARD Racing
#04 Mercedes-AMG GT3, CrowdStrike Racing by Riley Motorsports
#34 Mercedes-AMG GT4, Conquest Racing / JMF Motorsports