Home CLOSED WHEEL Tales from the paddock – Stefan Wendl

Tales from the paddock – Stefan Wendl

Tales from the paddock – Stefan Wendl
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The 2017 season for Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing is already in full swing; meanwhile, Formula One entered a new era in Melbourne last weekend.

  • This is what happened: Weekend results and facts
  • News from the Mercedes-AMG Motorsport teams
  • Three questions forStefan Wendl
  • Social media news: What’s new online?

This is what happened: Weekend’s results & facts

  • Formula One: Double podium for Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport in season opener at Melbourne
  • Australian GT Championship: Mercedes-AMG GT3 driver Max Twigg makes two podium appearances in support series to Formula One

News snippets

StatAttack Melbourne: The Silver Arrows have got their season off to a great start with a double podium finish. While Valtteri was ascending the podium for the tenth time in his career, Lewis was making a 105th appearance. He is now only one Top Three finish behind Alain Prost in the All-Time Greats. Lewis also passed another milestone at Albert Park: he and Michael Schumacher are now the only drivers in F1 history to have posted more than 3,000 laps as race leader. And there was further cause for celebration in Melbourne as Mercedes Junior Esteban Ocon scored his first Formula One points. He thus becomes the 36th Frenchman to have got his name on the scoresheet in the highest echelon of motorsport.

Monster lap: One of the aims behind the new Formula One regulations is to make the cars faster. And in this regard, they have succeeded! On the lap that secured him pole position in Q3, Lewis set the fastest time ever recorded on the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit – 1:22.188 minutes. This bettered the previous fastest time of 1:23.529 minutes (Sebastian Vettel, Q3, 2011) by an impressive 1.241 seconds.

Podiums in the Australian GT Championship: Max Twigg came away from the four sprint races in the Australian GT with two podium finishes – a P2 and a P3. Driving a Mercedes-AMG GT3 entered by customer team Scott Taylor Motorsport, the Australian also secured pole position for the second race of the weekend. The event consisted of four 25-minute races and was run as part of the support programme for the Australian F1 Grand Prix weekend at the Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne.

Season opener around the Nürburgring-Nordschleife: The first of this year’s visits by the VLN long-distance championship to the legendary Nürburgring-Nordschleife took place last weekend on the 24.35km VLN variant of the track. Finishing among the Top Ten in this four-hour race were four Mercedes-AMG GT3s. Customer racing Team BLACK FALCON (# 7), HARIBO Racing Team Mercedes-AMG (# 8), Mercedes-AMG Team BLACK FALCON (# 6) and Mercedes-AMG Team HTP Motorsport (# 47) crossed the line in P7, P8, P9 and P10 respectively. In gloriously sunny conditions and with thousands of spectators lining the circuit in the Eifel hills, the SP9 class attracted the most entries: 33 GT3 cars out of 188.

Three questions for Stefan Wendl

Stefan, as GT3 Project Manager, you played a key role in launching the Mercedes-AMG GT3 on the North American scene. You must surely feel more than satisfied with the recent run of successes?

Stefan Wendl: Our season in North America got off to a fantastic start. We secured a podium finish in the first of the races in the 24 Hours of Daytona thanks to Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports, and we then celebrated the first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship victory for a Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the second race at Sebring. I was delighted that SunEnergy1 Racing made it onto the podium in the 12 Hours of Sebring, because our focus in customer racing is on ensuring that customer teams also receive comprehensive support from Mercedes-AMG and are equally able to compete for victories.

In Europe too, the various racing series are starting up again after the winter break. Last weekend the first round of the VLN Endurance Championship took place on the legendary Nürburgring-Nordschleife. How did the season opener in the ‘Green Hell’ go?

Stefan Wendl: In terms of results, we still have a gap to close between us and the other contenders. But at least we had four cars in the Top Ten – this is a decent start. It’s given us plenty of valuable data. For the new season, there were a lot of adaptations that had to be made such as ground clearance, rear wing and tyres. This is what the teams have to test extensively in order to find the perfect setup. I think we are heading in the right direction, and we are looking forward to the upcoming races in the VLN and of course to the highlight of the season – the 24-hour race in late May.

Mercedes-AMG recently announced the driver squad for the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring. After last year’s historic quadruple success, I don’t suppose you will be making many changes?

Stefan Wendl: Last year’s result was unique and cannot be beaten by these criteria. But as the first race in the VLN shows, we still have a lot of work ahead of us. We are very glad that we can largely count on the involvement of our well-known Mercedes-AMG drivers from the previous year. We have a strong combination of youth and experience. And in Edoardo Mortara and Edward Sandström, we have two new drivers joining the 24-hour Nürburgring squad this season, who will certainly further strengthen our challenge.

Social Media News

#IceHockey: Valtteri Bottas got himself in the mood for his first race weekend as a Silver Arrows driver in typical Finnish fashion – with ice hockey practice in Melbourne! Could there be a more appropriate way for a Finn to prepare for the opening fixture of the Formula One season?

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=13AZqTW4SNk

#ExploringMelbourne: What does a Saturday morning in Melbourne look like for Lewis? We accompanied the three-time World Champion on his tour of the city and visited some of his favourite places…

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

#HospitalityTour: Ever wondered what’s behind the secretive walls of a Formula One team hospitality unit at Grand Prix weekends? Wonder no more, as Lewis takes us on an access-all-areas tour of the Silver Arrows inner sanctum in Melbourne.

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAKqrpHPxT4

#SimpliF1ed: Our technical journey continues. How does the combustion process work? And how does our specially developed Petronas Primax fuel improve this process?

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sac86v8exyw

#Onboard: Indycar star James Hinchcliffe was invited to take the wheel of a Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM last week and put in a few laps of the Autodromo Vallelunga. We had a camera looking over his shoulder.

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=2p57St6hVpo

Source : Mercedes.com

David Martin-Janiak Motorsports has always been a passion for me, I've raced in Karting and now I have my own Motorsports news website, so i can help other racers convey their passion to the world!

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