Yesterday saw the climax of the Formula One season, with Sebastian Vettel claiming an emotional world title win. This wasn’t the only celebration to be had though; the F1 safety car is also celebrating it’s 250th Grand Prix.
1996 was the first time a saftey car was deployed during a Formula 1 race, at the French Grand Prix in Magny Cours. This was a Mercedes C36 AMG which was the current safety car drivers (Bernd Maylander) company car at the time! It was given to him in April of that year, but recalled a month later in May. The car was being converted into the safety car with a personalised number plate: S – BM 300. Ever since this vehicle was deployed, there have been 9 other Mercedes safety cars and this season saw the new 2010 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG.
Since it’s introduction in 1996, the Formlua One safety car has been deployed in 89 out of 249 races! That’s nearly 40% of the races, so it’s clear that it’s a very important feature of the series.
Saftey cars provided by Mercedes since 1996: 1996: C 36 AMG, 1997-1999: CLK 55 AMG, 2000: CL 55 AMG, 2001/2002: SL 55 AMG, 2003: CLK 55 AMG, 2004/2005: SLK 55 AMG, 2006/2007: CLK 63 AMG, 2008/2009: SL 63 AMG, Since 2010: SLS AMG