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Formula 1's safety car driver is delighted Silverstone's staying
Bernd Mayländer loves the British GP, despite it causing him to strip on the M40
Bernd Mayländer may not be a name you’re overly familiar with, but it ought to be. He’s the one man able to get in front of Lewis Hamilton on a Formula 1 circuit anytime he wants. He’s the driver of the Mercedes-AMG GT R safety car.
Mayländer is delighted Silverstone’s contract has been extended, too. “The first Grand Prix was here in 1950,” he told Top Gear on the morning of 2019’s race. “I think it’s not a good sign if they say ‘no, we don’t race here anymore’.
“During the race we’re sat in the car with two screens, we can see the G-forces and everything. In Austria I was absolutely awake as it was a fantastic race… in France I was sleeping. I said to my co-driver Richard ‘if I’m starting to snore, let me know’.
“I’m joking of course, but if we are sat in the car and it’s not the best race, our blood pressure goes down a little bit. But here at Silverstone you never fall asleep because it’s a fantastic track and everything can happen.
“Maybe today you will see me on track one time, three times, five times, I don’t know. But what I do know is my flight time is 6.15pm at Birmingham airport, it’s maybe my biggest challenge to catch this flight.
“That’s always been the same at Silverstone, for 20 years. I park my rental car next to the medical centre, then after the chequered flag I follow the last Formula 1 car off the track, I jump out in my race suit into the medical car, and then into my car still with the overalls. I drive onto the M40 and at the first parking area I strip and change into my private clothes and then I go and try and catch my flight. They are already prepared in my car.”
So if you find yourself at Warwick services an hour or two after next year’s British Grand Prix, mind where you park…