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F1’s new safety car is the most powerful ever

A 585bhp AMG with lights and stickers will keep Hamilton and co in check this season

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This weekend, the F1 circus will roll into Melbourne for the opening round of this year’s Formula One season. And it’s not just the drivers who’ll be getting new cars (with the controversial Halo, remember) in Australia, but also Bernd Mayländer, the man who sits behind the wheel of the safety car. And what a company car upgrade: the new AMG GT R. Complete with 585bhp, a flashy light bar and iPads inside. 

It’s the most powerful and track-focused foundation for a safety car ever. You may remember that the GT R is AMG’s most hardcore car and has componentry largely carried over from the GT3 racer.

There’s four-wheel steering, carbon fibre body panels, moving underbody aero elements, 585bhp from a twin turbo V8, fully redesigned suspension, extra supports to boost torsional rigidity, nine-position traction control, adjustable coil over spring/damper units and sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s. To make it fit for purpose, there’s safety car stickering, a light bar and two iPads and radios to allow co-pilot Richard Darker to remain in contact with race control and watch Peppa Pig while the race isn’t crashy.  

Remember that Germany’s Sport Auto magazine subjected the bi-turbo V8 Benz to its Nordschleife lap time test, and it achieved a verified time of 7m 10.9s. That makes it – Radical lightweights excepted – the fastest street-legal rear-wheel drive car ever around the ‘Ring. So plenty fast enough to slow down Lewis and gang. 

Is it the coolest safety car of all time? Well, check out this gallery and let us know below.

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