The Official F1 Safety Car is always deployed whenever the safety of a race is threatened by accidents, adverse weather conditions or other hazardous situations. Sitting behind the wheel of the exceptional Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG will be Bernd Mayländer (Germany, 37 years of age). After receiving instructions from the race management, the former DTM driver must go to the head of the Formula 1 field and safely guide the world's fastest racing drivers around the circuit. Fast lap times are a must for the Safety Car, because otherwise the Formula 1 engines would overheat - and their tyres and brakes would also cool down excessively.
As in 2008, the role of the Official F1 Safety Car is also being fulfilled during this year's new season by the Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG. Its distinctive driving dynamics are a basic requirement for its challenging Formula 1 assignment: the AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine has a power output of 386 kW/525 hp, providing acceleration from zero to 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds. A newly developed AMG sport exhaust system with larger pipe diameter and special rear silencers allows the high-revving AMG naturally aspirated engine to breathe even more freely - and gives it an even sportier sound. Outstanding driving dynamics are guaranteed by the newly developed AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission with column shift, which makes it possible to change gear in just 100 milliseconds.