The start of the 2022 Season in Formula 1 is scheduled for next weekend with the Bahrain Grand Prix. The first race for the year will mark the track debut of the competition’s new safety car - a Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series. It will share its duties with the Aston Martin Vantage and DBX, which were introduced last season. Meanwhile, an AMG GT 63 S will be used as a medical car.
Mercedes says the two performance machines are almost entirely standard. The only modifications include additional equipment specific to their respective tasks on the track. The AMG GT Black Series, for example, lacks the usual light bar on the roof, which has been replaced by an innovative LED lighting cluster at the upper area of the windscreen. The rearward-facing lights, meanwhile, have been integrated into the rear spoiler.
The safety light cluster has two main modes. If the lights are orange, this means overtaking is prohibited. If the lights are green, this means racing drivers can overtake the safety car. Mercedes explains the LED modules are dimmable and the intensity of the light can be adapted to the conditions. Interestingly, even the rear number plate is illuminated in a corresponding color.
Other than that, the new F1 safety car is pretty much a standard factory Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series equipped with the optional Track Package. It includes a roll cage made from titanium and designed to improve the vehicle's performance and enhance its passive safety.
Two tablets on the dashboard allow the crew inside the safety car to monitor the track and the race. The left screen displays the international TV signal, while the right one can be switched between the animated representation showing the current position of the race cars on the track or the current lap times.
Powering the AMG GT Black Series is a twin-turbo V8 engine with 730 horsepower (537 kilowatts). The unit is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The performance vehicle can accelerate from a standstill to 62 miles per hour (0-100 kilometers per hour) in just 3.2 seconds. The top speed is 202 mph (325 kph).