Tales from the paddock: Bold strategy and strong line-up

    Singapore, Suzuka, Indianapolis: Classic races follow in quick succession as the end of the motorsport season nears

    • Thriller on the streets of Singapore: Bold decisions and a return to the podium
    • From Singapore to Japan: Suzuka, here we come!
    • Customer Racing News: Mercedes-AMG to be represented by strong line-up in Indianapolis 8 Hour
    • One-two finish in the IMSA at Indianapolis
    • News snippets: Results and Facts & Social Media News

    Thriller on the streets of Singapore: Bold decisions and a return to the podium

    Four drivers, three teams, and a 17-lap pursuit for victory made for a real thriller on the Marina Bay Street Circuit under the Asian night sky. The 2023 Singapore Grand Prix will certainly go down as one of the most exciting finishes in F1 history.

    George Russell, Lewis Hamilton and the team’s strategists made an aggressive decision in the final laps of the race, which ensured that the tension reached fever pitch for the spectators in the grandstands and the fans watching the TV coverage at home.

    The drama began on Lap 43 when a virtual safety car presented the opportunity for the team to make a bold strategy decision and bring its two drivers in for a second pit stop at the same time. Both George and Lewis had an extra set of fresh Medium tyres in reserve, which they had squirrelled away on the previous two days. The thinking was that the time lost on the additional stop could be made good with a furious chase on fresh rubber on the final stint, creating a realistic chance of snatching the victory.

    And the gamble seemed to be paying off when, three laps before the end of the race, George and Lewis caught up with the McLaren of Lando Norris and the leading Ferrari of Carlos Sainz. However, it wouldn’t end in success as George clipped the wall on the final lap and suffered a ‘heart-breaking’ DNF. Lewis was on hand though to claim the final place on the rostrum and register the team’s sixth podium of the season.

    Find out more about the bold strategy and why it almost paid off: mb4.me/l8hb3urD

    From Singapore to Japan: Suzuka here we come!

    From the heat and humidity of Singapore, the team heads straight to Japan where the 16th round of the season will be contested this coming weekend on the Suzuka International Racing Course, the only track on the racing calendar that has a figure-of-eight layout.

    The 2023 Japanese GP will be the 37th running of this F1 event. Fuji has hosted the premier class on only four occasions, with Suzuka having now established itself as the preferred venue.

    The record winner of the Japanese Grand Prix is Michael Schumacher (six victories) closely followed by Lewis (five). In the qualifying stakes, Schumacher tops the table on eight pole positions ahead of Sebastian Vettel on five and Lewis on four.

    McLaren are the most successful team in this Grand Prix, having won nine times in the Land of the Rising Sun. Ferrari took the honours on seven occasions, Mercedes on six. Four of these victories came courtesy of Lewis (2014 ‑ 2017), with Nico Rosberg (2016) and Valtteri Bottas (2019) contributing one each.

    In terms of qualifying, Ferrari have a clear lead – 10 poles compared with the six for McLaren and six for Red Bull. A Mercedes-AMG driver has started the race from the front of the grid five times to date.

    The absolute lap record is held by Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) in a time of 1:27.064 set in the 2019 season. In the same year, Lewis driving the Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+ clocked the fastest race lap in a time of 1:30.983.

    Customer Racing News: Mercedes-AMG to be represented by strong line-up at Indianapolis 8 Hour

    The fourth and penultimate race of the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli 2023 – the Indianapolis 8 Hour – will be contested on 7th October. The event will also constitute the season finale of the 2023 Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS. Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing is in contention for the championship title in all three IGTC classifications, with Jules Gounon (AND) currently leading the drivers’ standings: “After the victory of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship last weekend together with Dani Juncadella I’m very happy to travel back to the legendary Indianapolis race track next week as the leader in the overall standings of IGTC. But that doesn’t mean anything yet. There are still two races to go and it will be important to score a lot of points going to Abu Dhabi with a sufficient lead. The cooperation with Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing is working well, even though I only drove for them once before. Because an unfortunate incident cost us second place last time, I now want to have redemption with them and want to have a good race in Indianapolis,” says performance driver Jules Gounon. In the eight-hour race at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Mercedes Performance Driver will be sharing the cockpit of a Team Craft Bamboo Racing car with Maximilian Götz (GER) and Raffaele Marciello (SUI). Craft Bamboo are aiming to repeat last year’s victory. A second high-performance outfit in the PRO category is GruppeM: the Mercedes-AMG Team can already look back on a P3 finish in the current IGTC season, which they achieved in the Bathurst 12 Hours. The GruppeM drivers are Maro Engel (GER), Daniel Juncadella (ESP) and Luca Stolz (GER).

    Mercedes-AMG line-up for the Indianapolis 8 Hour*:

    04PRO-AmCrowdStrike by RileyColin Braun (USA), George Kurtz (USA), Nolan Siegel (USA)
    8PRO-AmDXDTTom Sargent (AUS), Bryan Sellers (USA), Scott Smithson (USA)
    75PRO-AmSunEnergy1 RacingMikaël Grenier (CAN), Kenny Habul (AUS), TBA
    TBAAmTR3Jon Branam (USA), Paul Kiebler (USA), TBA
    77PROMercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo RacingMaximilian Götz (GER), Jules Gounon (AND), Raffaele Marciello (SUI)
    91PRO-AmDXDTJeff Burton (USA), Philip Ellis (SUI), Corey Lewis (USA)
    999PROMercedes-AMG Team GruppeMMaro Engel (GER), Daniel Juncadella (ESP), Luca Stolz (GER)

    * Subject to last-minute changes

    News snippets: Results and Facts & Social Media News

    IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship: In the penultimate race of the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Jules Gounon (AND) and Daniel Juncadella (ESP) driving the number 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 claimed a third win of the season in the GTD Pro class. After a race distance of 104 laps, their lead was 4.4 seconds. Mercedes-AMG also celebrated success in the GTD class, where Philip Ellis (SUI) and Russell Ward (USA) in the #57 Winward Racing car came through in the last few laps to take the win.

    IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge: Winward Racing chalked up a further success at Indianapolis in the supporting programme: Daniel Morad (CAN) and Bryce Ward (USA) in the #57 Mercedes-AMG GT4 won the four-hour Michelin Pilot Challenge. Half a second behind, the Lone Star Racing duo of Scott Andrews (AUS) and Anton Dias Perera (USA) crossed the finish line to make it a one-two finish for the brand. Mercedes-AMG leads the manufacturers’ standings going into the finale at Road Atlanta.

    GT World Challenge Europe: A fourth victory of the season in the Sprint Cup of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS took Timur Boguslavskiy (FIA) and Raffaele Marciello (SUI) one step closer to securing the drivers’ title. The AKKODIS ASP pairing in the #88 Mercedes-AMG GT3 won the first of two one-hour races at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo near Valencia. They then finished seventh in the second race on Sunday, but were nonetheless satisfied to have added to their points tally. Going into the two final events in Barcelona (Endurance Cup) and Zandvoort (Sprint Cup), Boguslavskiy and Marciello lead the general, sprint and endurance classifications. Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing celebrated three further trophies at Valencia in the individual classes. Chief among these were the Silver Cup P2s in both races posted by the Haupt Racing duo of Jordan Love (AUS) and Alain Valente (SUI) in the number 77 Mercedes-AMG GT3. Reema Juffali (KSA) and Fabian Schiller (GER) in the number 81 Mercedes-AMG GT3 fielded by Theeba Motorsport were Sunday’s runners-up in the Bronze Cup after an exciting sprint to the finish.

    GT2 European Series: On the penultimate race weekend of the 2023 GT2 European Series in Valencia, AKKODIS ASP Team booked three podium spots. Frenchmen Ludovic Badey and Jean-Luc Beaubelique in the #87 Mercedes-AMG GT2 won the Saturday race, sharing the podium with their third-placed compatriots and team-mates Benjamin and Mauro Ricci. Badey and Beaubelique were also on the podium as runners-up on Sunday.

    24H Series: Roelof Bruins (NED), Steven Cho (CAN) and South Koreans Jongkyum Kim, Donggi Noh and Taekeun Yang took a class win in the 24-hour race in Barcelona. The quintet in the #403 Mercedes-AMG GT4 of Atlas BX Motorsports prevailed in the GT4 class. Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing outfits Hofor Racing (third in the GT3-AM class) and Buggyra ZM Racing (third in the GT4 class) also finished in the Top Three.

    FastFact: The 24 Hours of Barcelona marked the end of the European Championship leg of the 24H Series. In this sub-series, Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing claimed a total of four championship victories: Atlas BX Motorsports won the team and driver championships in the GT4 class and also secured the Trophy GT, an aggregate of all the GT classes. The drivers’ and team championship in the GT3 AM class went to CP Racing. Aliyyah Koloc (CZE) won the Ladies Cup GT.

    GT Cup Championship: Morpheus Racing can look back with satisfaction on a successful weekend at Donington. The British duo of Chris Hart and Stephen Walton in the #69 Mercedes-AMG GT4 came away from the four races contested there with a class win and two further podium finishes. Their team-mates Jon Currie and Phil Keen (both GBR) in the #96 sister car were twice runners-up in their class.

    Mobileye IGTC Esports Endurance Series: Mercedes-AMG E-Sports Team Williams Esports won the virtual Indianapolis 8 Hour courtesy of Dominik Blajer (POL), Daire McCormack (IRL) and Dennis Schöniger (GER) at the wheel of the number 555 Mercedes-AMG GT3. The victory extends their lead in the overall standings. The German quartet of Tobias Gronewald, Tobias Pfeffer, Bastian Richter and Michael Tauscher finished third with the number 4 Mercedes-AMG GT3 entered by Mercedes-AMG E-Sports Team Unicorns of Love.

    #RaceResults – All the results from the most recent motorsport weekend

    #KeepingCool: High temperatures, high humidity – that’s Singapore. The Grand Prix at the Marina Bay Street Circuit is one of the most physically draining of the year. George Russell and his performance coach Aleix reveal how F1 drivers stay cool even in these challenging conditions.

    Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrR0qBPJ4rQ