Tales from the paddock: Mugello makes its debut, and the family celebrates a new European champion

Sep 16, 2020

Spectacular Formula One premiere in Tuscany, victories all around the world, and three up-and-coming young talents

  • 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 1: Mercedes one-two at Mugello as Lewis Hamilton wins the inaugural Tuscany Grand Prix and Valtteri Bottas finishes runner-up
  • GTWCE Sprint Cup: Maro Engel and Luca Stolz win Race 1 at Magny Cours and also make it onto the podium in Race 2
  • GT4 France: A victory and a P3 for the Mercedes-AMG GT4 at Magny-Cours
  • Super GT: Victory at Twin Ring Motegi for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 fielded by LEON RACING
  • GTC Race: Four podium places, including two victories, for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 at the Nürburgring
  • DTM Trophy: Tim Heinemann wins both races at the Nürburgring

News snippets

Facts & figures from Mugello: The debut of Mugello as a Formula One circuit certainly won’t be forgotten in a hurry. At the end of a frantic race that was red-flagged twice, Lewis Hamilton’s name entered the record books as the first winner of the Tuscany Grand Prix. Valtteri Bottas rounded off a highly satisfactory performance for the team by claiming the runner-up spot. It was the 100th victory for Mercedes since the brand made its return as a factory team in 2010, as well as the 222nd points-scoring result for Lewis. On Saturday, in yet another record for the six-time champion, Lewis not only booked the 95th pole position of his Formula One career, but also set a new track record at Mugello in a time of 1:15.144 minutes.

Junior trio with promise: Mugello was not the only race venue where the Mercedes-AMG Motorsport family had something to cheer about last weekend. There were also successes to report from Wackersdorf, where Junior Driver Andrea Kimi Antonelli won the final race of the FIA European Karting Championship, thereby wrapping up the title in the OK class by a margin of two points. We congratulate Andrea along with our other two Juniors whom we profile below:

Andrea Kimi Antonelli: Andrea was born in the Italian city of Bologna in 2006. He caught the racing bug at the tender age of nine and since April 2019 has officially been a Junior member of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team. He is currently driving for the Kart Republic Team run by Dino Chiesa who mentored Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg 20 years ago. Gwen Lagrue, Driver Development Advisor for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team: “Kimi - which is the nickname he goes by - is a phenomenon. He’s very mature for his young age, is very patient and extremely clever. He’s fast, whatever the conditions are, and I’ve never seen him make a silly mistake.”

Paul Aron: Paul was born in February 2004 in Estonia and first sat in a kart at the age of seven. In 2019, he graduated from karting to Formula 4, finishing the Italian series in third place. This year, he switched to the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, joining ART Grand Prix, the team for which Esteban Ocon and George Russell also drove. Gwen Lagrue: “Paul is a very calm, intelligent and talented kid. He is still very young and has a lot to learn, but he’s in a good environment and has the pace to fight for wins”.

Alex Powell: Alex is a Jamaican who was born 2007 in Miami, Florida. Racing is in his family’s blood. His father John is a veteran rally driver who found success in the Caribbean, while his cousin is the former world’s fastest man - sprinter Asafa Powell. In 2019, Alex upped sticks to Europe where he immediately won a title. Gwen Lagrue: “Alex’s nickname in the go-kart paddock is ‘The Jamaican Rocket’, and I agree. He is our youngest Junior driver, and since 2018 he’s headed over from the other side of the Atlantic to race in Europe. Racing in the Mini category, he was discovering a new team, new tracks and new competitors, but after only a few weeks he was already fighting at the front with Andrea Kimi who is one year older than Alex.”

Mercedes-AMG Motorsport moving up the GT World Challenge Europe championship table: Successes in the sprint event at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours in France have kept the Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing teams in the chase for the GT World Challenge Europe title. In the night race on Saturday evening, Maro Engel and Luca Stolz (both GER) in the number 4 HRT Team car cruised to victory from pole position. Two more Mercedes-AMG GT3s made it into the Top Ten - the number 88 AKKA ASP in seventh place and the number 2 Toksport WRT in eighth place. Timur Boguslavskiy (RUS) and Raffaele Marciello (ITA) in the #88 mounted a heroic charge through the field from 16th on the grid. In the second of the two one-hour races, the number 88 and number 4 Mercedes-AMG GT3 finished second and third respectively to secure a double podium for the brand. Juuso Puhakka (FIN) and Oscar Tunjo (COL) in the Toksport WRT #2 also scored points for a P8 finish. In the overall GT World Challenge Europe standings, Boguslavskiy and Marciello are now in second place, closely followed by the third-placed duo of Engel and Stolz. Both driver pairings were able to make up ground on the current leaders at Magny-Cours. In the Sprint Cup classification Engel and Stolz are in second place at the halfway stage of the competition. Four more top-class events are scheduled, including the standout fixture of the season, the 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps. Consequently, Mercedes-AMG Motorsport teams and drivers are still in with a great chance of winning the title.

The Customer Racing Teams also enjoyed a considerable degree of success in their respective classes at Magny-Cours. The Toksport WRT duo of Puhakka (FIN) and Tunjo (COL) secured victory in the Silver Cup on Saturday and finished second in their class on Sunday. Benjamin Hites (CHI) and Jim Pla (FRA) came third in the Silver Cup in the first race. Dominik Baumann (AUT) and Valentin Pierburg of SPS automotive performance finished third in the Pro-Am class on Saturday.

In the GT4 France races held at the same venue, the CD Sport pairing of Edouard Cauhaupé and Fabien Lavergne (both FRA) in the number 2 car chalked up a commanding lights-to flag victory on Saturday. A Mercedes-AMG GT4 also finished in the Top Three of the second race on Sunday: Jean-Luc Beaubelique and Jim Pla (both FRA) took the AKKA ASP Team #87 to third place, at the same time securing the win in the Pro-Am class. In the number 88 sister car, Thomas Drouet and Paul Petit (both FRA) contributed another class podium to the cause with a P3 in the Silver Cup.

Podium successes at the International GT Open: A Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing Team made it onto the overall podium in both International GT Open races at the Red Bull Ring. On Saturday, Sam De Haan and Callum MacLeod (both GBR) in the number 69 Mercedes-AMG GT3 fielded by RAM Racing took third place, a result that was matched by Christian Klien (AUT) and Patryk Krupinski (POL) in the number 88 JP Motorsport car on Sunday. For the Austro-Polish duo, it was enough to give them victory in the Pro-Am class, of which they are now joint leaders on equal points. In the AM classification, the Mercedes-AMG GT3s maintained their previous dominance, monopolising the podium on both occasions. On Saturday, GetSpeed Performance (#44) came out on top against AKM Motorsport (#13) and SPS automotive performance (#20). On Sunday, it was the turn of AKM Motorsport to lift the winner’s trophy, with GetSpeed Performance and SPS automotive performance looking on.

Victories in the Super GT and GT Cup Championship: LEON RACING won the Japanese Super GT race in Motegi after starting from way back on the grid in 13th place. By virtue of bold tyre tactics, Nayoa Gamou and Togo Suganami (both JPN) in the number 65 Mercedes-AMG GT3 worked their way through the field over the course of the 63 laps to secure the team its third victory at Motegi since 2017.

Richard and Sam Neary in the number 8 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of ABBA Racing won two races at the GT Cup Championship event at Donington, UK. The father-son duo secured victory in the first and third of four 25-minute sprint races and were runners-up in yet another after starting from pole position in all four races.

Winning streak in GTC Race and DTM Trophy continues: In the second round of the GTC Race at the Nürburgring, Space Drive Racing operated by HWA again won two out of three races. Patrick Assenheimer and Maximilian Götz (both GER) secured victory in the one-hour Goodyear 60 race on Friday, with Kenneth Heyer (GER) and Wim Spinoy (BEL) taking third place for Car Collection Motorsport. In the second of the two half-hour races on Sunday, Götz in the number 31 Mercedes-AMG GT3 once again crossed the finish line first. A total of four class wins by Car Collection Motorsport, Mario Hirsch (équipe vitesse) and Marc Asbeck (Haupt Racing Team) rounded off a successful weekend.

In the DTM Trophy, Tim Heinemann extended his series of successes to four victories in a row. At the wheel of the number 46 HP Racing International, he was again unbeatable in both races at the Nürburgring. Joining him on Sunday’s podium was third-placed Jan Kisiel in the number 4 Mercedes-AMG GT4 of Leipert Motorsport.

Social Media News

#AMAValtteri: Not long ago, we put out a call on r/Formula1 for an ‘Ask Me Anything’ session with Valtteri Bottas. In this video, Valtteri supplies the answers on topics as diverse as his fitness training, his ‘strategy’ during the champagne shower and his porridge recipes!

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwapUU-V_XE

#AMAJames: Our Technical Director, James Allison, also recently faced an ‘Ask Me Anything’ grilling from Reddit users. Here is the result of the AMA, in which James talks about the biggest technical misunderstandings in F1, about data analysis and about how he graduated to the sport.

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=URJcgCWxl9M

#MyJobIn60Seconds: In the latest episode of our series ‘My Job in 60 Seconds’, we introduce you to En De, our PETRONAS Trackside Fluid Engineer.

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=prSsP7RSsH8

Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Tuscan GP 2020. Lewis Hamilton
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Tuscan GP 2020. Valtteri Bottas
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Tuscan GP 2020. Lewis Hamilton Valtteri Bottas
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Tuscan GP 2020. Lewis Hamilton
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Tuscan GP 2020. Lewis Hamilton Valtteri Bottas
#2 Mercedes-AMG GT4, CD Sport
#87 Mercedes-AMG GT4, AKKA ASP Team
#16 Mercedes-AMG GT4 and #53 Mercedes-AMG GT4, AKKA ASP Team
#88 Mercedes-AMG GT4, AKKA ASP Team
#69 Mercedes-AMG GT3, RAM Racing
#88 Mercedes-AMG GT3, JP Motorsport
#44 Mercedes-AMG GT3, GetSpeed Performance
#13 Mercedes-AMG GT3, AKM Motorsport
Maro Engel (l.) and Luca Stolz, Haupt Racing Team, at the podium ceremony
#88 Mercedes-AMG GT3, AKKA ASP Team, and #4 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Haupt Racing Team
#88 Mercedes-AMG GT3, AKKA ASP Team, and #4 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Haupt Racing Team
#4 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Haupt Racing Team
#2 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Toksport WRT
#20 Mercedes-AMG GT3, SPS automotive performance