Being a professional racing driver with Mercedes does have its perks.
Maro Engel has spent most of his career thrashing Mercedes-AMG GT cars around the world’s greatest circuits. For 2017 he returned to Germany’s DTM touring car series with Mercedes, but this year is extra special because he also got married. Ordinarily, the special drive after the ceremony would be in a posh limo, or perhaps a convertible so everyone can see husband and wife on their special day. Things are apparently a bit different, however, when you’re a professional racing driver for a major manufacturer.
“It was an absolutely amazing, incredible experience,” Engel said in an interview with Daimler. Keep in mind – he wasn’t talking about the wedding here, but rather the after-ceremony drive in a Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM car loaned to the couple for their special day.
“When the team offered it to us, we were blown away and thought about how best to manage the half-hour drive,” he said. “It was a crazy feeling, driving off from the church in the Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM together with my wife, along the narrow road through the small fishing village and out onto the coast road.”
At this point, we suspect there are more than a few people wondering how the blushing bride felt about this? According to Engel, he discussed it with her when the team made the offer, and she was all for it.
“She thought the idea was tremendous,” he said. “We lined the seats of the car with large, white tablecloths, and she managed to get in okay with a little bit of help from me.”
As far as wedding cars go, we can’t think of something much cooler than that. And as for the bride being cool with it all, she’s definitely a keeper.
From everyone at Motor1, congratulations to Maro and Steffi Engel. We wish you many years of happiness. It looks like you're off to a great start.
Gallery: Mercedes-AMG Wedding Car
Tales from the paddock – Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM as Maro Engel’s wedding car: “It was an absolutely amazing, incredible experience”
The Formula 1 season is entering the home straight: next stop after the final fixture in Malaysia is the classic at Suzuka
- This is what happened: Results and facts
- News from the Mercedes-AMG Motorsport teams
- Three questions for Maro Engel
- Social media news: What’s new online?
- This week’s important dates and events
This is what happened: Results & facts
- Formula 1: P2 for Lewis Hamilton in the 2017 PETRONAS Malaysia Grand Prix is enough to extend his lead in the drivers’ championship
- Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup: Wins for Tristan Vautier, Daniel Juncadella and Felix Serralles in the grand finale at Barcelona
Farewell to Malaysia: “Terima kasih Sepang!” Thank you, Sepang! After 19 years of thrilling and spectacular Grand Prix racing, Formula 1 took leave of the Sepang International Circuit last weekend. Unfortunately, the Silver Arrows were unable to deliver the hoped-for victory, but there was still plenty for us to report on under the Stat‑attack heading for this 15th fixture of the season, including the pole position for Lewis Hamilton – the 70th of his career, his ninth of the year and his fifth at Sepang (thereby equalling Michael Schumacher’s tally at this venue). He has started to open up a gap on the all-time pole position leaderboard. For the Silver Arrows as a team, it was their eleventh pole out of 15 in 2017. Lewis’s second place on Sunday was also his 114th podium in the highest echelon of the sport and his tenth of the season. This puts him on level pegging with Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas, who have also made ten podium appearances during the current campaign. The Silver Arrows have now had 20 Top Three finishes in 2017 – more than any other Formula 1 team this year.
Watch the video – Lewis’s Sepang memories: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pv1k3SomrZQ
Watch the video – Valtteri’s Sepang memories:
On to Suzuka: After bidding a fond farewell to Malaysia, there is no interruption to the busy schedule, with the Japanese Grand Prix – the 16th round of the 2017 Formula 1 season – due to be contested as early as next weekend. The legendary race track in Suzuka has been a happy hunting ground for the Silver Arrows in recent years. Mercedes have totally dominated the last three Japanese Grands Prix, claiming pole position and victory on each occasion. Reigning world champion Nico Rosberg started from P1 in 2014, 2015 and 2016 but even so managed only the one victory which came last year. The winner at Suzuka in 2014 and 2015 was Lewis, who also happens to be one of only two drivers in the current field to have also won a Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji. That was in 2007 when the circuit made its comeback. The other was Fernando Alonso who lifted the winner’s trophy in 2008.
Runners-up in the 2017 Blancpain GT Series: Last year’s Blancpain GT Series winner Maximilian Buhk (GER) and co-driver Franck Perera (FRA) had to settle for the runners-up spot this time round. The outfit they drive for, HTP Motorsport, also finished second in the team championship. “It was once again a tough race to round off the Blancpain GT Series involving plenty of wheel-to-wheel action with our fellow Mercedes drivers,” said Buhk afterwards. “Fourth place in the race and second in the championship is a reasonable outcome for us.” AKKA ASP driver Jean-Luc Beaubelique (FRA) came third in the Pro-AM stakes.
One-two in the closing GT Sports Club fixture: Customer racing team AKKA ASP celebrated another success with their Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the 2017 GT Sports Club series, after having already wrapped up the team title on a previous weekend. In the grand finale to this year’s championship in Barcelona, Anthony Pons (FRA) and Mauro Ricci (ITA) finished first and second in the qualifying race. Pons, who was the standout driver over the entire season, pulled out a massive 19-second lead in the race. With four victories and three other podium finishes to his credit, the Frenchman took the GT Sports Club title by a clear 62-point margin. The main race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya had to be cancelled because of heavy rain showers and did not count towards the championships.
Victory and third place in class: In the 3 Ore Endurance Champions Cup at Imola, customer racing team MDC-sports secured victory in their class and third place in the GT3 classification. The driver pairing of Adrian and Manuel Zumstein (both SUI) made excellent progress through the field in their Mercedes-AMG GT3 after starting from 16th on the grid, eventually coming home in third place overall and first in their class. Their team-mates Philipp Zumstein (SUI) and Paul Pfefferkorn (AUT) in an SLS AMG GT3 finished sixth overall and third in class after starting from twelfth.
Podium appearances in the International GT Open: In Race 1 of the International GT Open at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, the SPS automotive-performance duo of Onslow-Cole (GBR) and Valentin Pierburg (GER) took third place in the Pro-AM class. Sports & You drivers António Coimbra and Luis Silva (both POR) took the win in both the first and second races in the AM class. They were joined on the podium by their team-mates Marcio Basso and Fulvio Figueiredo (both BRA) in third place. The class podium was completed by the MS RACING partnership of Alexander Hrachowina and Martin Konrad (both AUT).
Three questions for Maro Engel
Maro, congratulations on your wedding. How did the day go for you and your wife Steffi?
Maro Engel: Our wedding was beautiful – just everything was amazing that day. The weather was as we had hoped for, with a bright blue sky. It was really fantastic for us and much nicer than we could have dreamed of. It was a very special day and an experience that was absolutely incredible. We are so very happy.
You had a very special wedding car, namely a Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM. How was the ride?
Maro Engel: It was an absolutely amazing, incredible experience. When the team offered it to us, we were blown away and thought about how best to manage the half-hour drive. It was a crazy feeling, driving off from the church in the Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM together with my wife, along the narrow road through the small fishing village and out onto the coast road. We each had a big wide grin on our face. The only thing was, we couldn’t talk much to each other during the trip, because it was simply too loud! But we knew that would be the case and didn’t mind. It was a really unique experience, like no-one else has probably ever had. An absolute knock-out!
What did your wife Steffi say when she first heard about the idea?
Maro Engel: When the offer was first made by the team to provide us with the DTM car, I had to discuss it with Steffi. I knew, of course, that this is not necessarily the air-conditioned luxury vehicle that you would normally have on the way back to your hotel. Also, climbing into the car as well as the heat in the cockpit obviously present certain challenges. But Steffi said right away that we should definitely jump at the chance. She thought the idea was tremendous. We lined the seats of the car with large, white tablecloths, and she managed to get in OK with a little bit of help from me. The DTM car brought us full circle, symbolically speaking, because we met through and at the DTM.