Tales from the paddock: From Mexico City to São Paulo via the Eifel

Nov 10, 2021

While F1 is busy with the final triple-header of the season, Mercedes-AMG Motorsport has multiple successes to report from the Nürburgring - in the real as well as the virtual world

  • This is what happened: Results and facts
  • News from the Mercedes-AMG Motorsport teams

This is what happened: Results and facts

  • F1: Lewis Hamilton finishes the Mexico City Grand Prix in second place
  • ADAC GT Masters: Maro Engel and Luca Stolz take the runner-up spot in Saturday's race at the Nürburgring
  • ADAC GT4 Germany: P2 for Jan Marschalkowski and Théo Nouet in Race 1 puts them the podium
  • ADAC GT4 Germany: Teams' title for Team Zakspeed, Junior championship for Theo Nouet

News snippets

Facts and figures from Mexico: The 18th round of the 2021 Formula One World Championship had its highs and lows for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team. Much to everyone's surprise, Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton clocked the two fastest times in qualifying on Saturday to make it a front row lockout for Sunday's Mexico City Grand Prix. The race itself then got off to the worst possible start for Valtteri who was spun by Daniel Ricciardo in the first corner and dropped to the back of the field. He then had the thankless task of navigating a way back through all the traffic. Just before the end, he set the fastest lap of the race, depriving Red Bull of a valuable point in both the Drivers' and the Constructors' World Championships. Lewis drove a fantastic race, defending strongly against Sergio Perez and finishing the Grand Prix in second place behind his main title rival, Max Verstappen. While the gap in the Drivers' World Championship has now widened to 19 points, Mercedes still lead the constructors' standings after 18 of 22 races, albeit with a slender one-point advantage over Red Bull. An exciting sprint to the finish in the remaining four races is thus guaranteed.

São Paulo, here we come: The next stop after Mexico City is Interlagos in Brazil next weekend, where the São Paulo Grand Prix will be contested as the second leg of the current triple-header. Brazil is about to host its 48th F1 race, the majority of the previous races (37) having taken place at the Autodromo José Carlos Pace in São Paulo. The track has not been exclusively favourable to the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team in the recent past; the winner of the last Grand Prix two years ago was Red Bull's Max Verstappen. Before that, Nico Rosberg (2014, 2015) and Lewis Hamilton (2016, 2018) each chalked up two wins for the team. The record race winner in Brazil is Alain Prost, who won there no fewer than six times. The most successful among the current crop of drivers is Sebastian Vettel with his tally of three victories. McLaren are the leading team with twelve victories, closely followed by Ferrari on eleven. Trailing the two front-runners in this category are Williams on six and Red Bull on five. The Mercedes works team total stands at four victories. Mercedes-powered cars have triumphed on Brazilian soil on nine occasions since 1998. The track record is held by Lewis in a time of 1:07.281 minutes (2018), while the fastest race lap belongs to Valtteri (1:10.540 minutes, also 2018).

ADAC GT Masters season draws to a successful close for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport: By virtue of a strong team performance throughout the season, Mercedes-AMG featured prominently among the honours in the drivers' and team standings on the final weekend of the ADAC GT Masters at the Nürburgring. A P4 in Saturday's race was enough for Maro Engel and Luca Stolz (both GER) of Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport WRT to clinch third place in the Drivers' Championship. On the basis of hugely improved performance by the drivers and crew of the number 22 Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the second half of the season, Toksport WRT ended up fourth in the team standings. Maximilian Buhk (GER) and Raffaele Marciello (ITA) in the #70 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of MANN-FILTER Team LANDGRAF finished one position behind Engel and Stolz in fifth place on Saturday. As a result, the duo consolidated fourth place in the drivers' standings. Jules Gounon (FRA) and Igor Walilko (POL) in the number 13 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Team Zakspeed Mobil Krankenkasse Racing staged an impressive fightback on the final weekend of the ADAC GT Masters, working their way up from 22nd on the grid to sixth in the final round of the series on Sunday. They finished the year sixth in the drivers' standings. Thanks to their efforts and those of their team-mates Constantin Schöll (AUT) and Hendrik Still (GER) in the #20 sister car, Zakspeed Mobil Krankenkasse Racing finished the season sixth in the team standings. All things considered, Mercedes-AMG Motorsport can look back on a highly successful season in the ADAC GT Masters. Between them, the Customer Racing teams produced a total of three overall victories and nine further podium appearances over the seven race weekends. And as a bonus, Igor Walilko of Zakspeed Mobil Krankenkasse Racing took third place in the Junior classification.

Double championship success for Mercedes-AMG in the ADAC GT4 Germany: On the final race weekend of the 2021 ADAC GT4 Germany, once again contested as part of the support programme to the ADAC GT Masters, there were not one but two championship victories for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport. Team Zakspeed, who fielded two Mercedes-AMG GT4s throughout and recorded a total of two victories and seven further podium finishes, were crowned champions in the team standings at the end of the final round. The number 13 Mercedes-AMG GT4 driven by Jan Marschalkowski (GER) and Théo Nouet (FRA) produced the best result of the weekend for the brand,  finishing second on Saturday and thereby contributing to this success just as much as the #20 sister car driven by Gabriela Jílková (CZE) and Robert Haub (USA). Nouet, who is only 21 years old, also secured the title in the Junior classification by a margin of 16½ points. Together with his team-mate Jan Marschalkowski, Nouet finished the season as runner-up in the overall drivers' championship. Marc de Fulgencio (ESP) and Robin Falkenbach (GER) of Leipert Motorsport mounted a furious charge from eleventh on the grid to finish fourth in the Saturday race. The pairing secured a strong fourth place overall in the drivers' standings thanks to consistently solid performances in their #7 Mercedes-AMG GT4.

Victory for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport in the opening fixture of the new Digital Nürburgring Endurance Series (DNLS) season: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport is also stepping up its activities in the esports arena. The brand has just embarked on what is now the third season of the DNLS, entering a total of five high-performance teams. In the opening event - the H&R 3‑hour race - Mercedes-AMG E-Sports Team HRT claimed their first win of the season. The Mercedes-AMG GT3 #4, controlled by experienced sim racing drivers Florian Denzler and Danny Giusa (both GER) plus pro driver Daniel Juncadella (ESP), secured pole position in qualifying. The trio briefly relinquished the lead shortly before the end of the three-hour race, before Giusa registered the first win of the DNLS campaign for Mercedes-AMG E-Sports Team HRT with a bold overtaking manoeuvre on the last lap. The number 101 Mercedes-AMG operated by the E-Sports Team Heusinkveld trio of Adam Christodoulou (GBR), Mats-Thorge Huthsfeldt and Jan Sentkowski (both GER) finished in the Top Ten. Philip Ellis (SUI) and Aleksi Elomaa (FIN) of Mercedes-AMG E‑Sports Team WINWARD delivered a solid P11 with their virtual #57 Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the opening race. On 12th December 2021, the five Mercedes-AMG E-Sports teams will be vying for vital championship points in the second round of the season, the NIMEX 3-hour race.

Class wins and multiple Top Ten finishes in Asia: The GT Super Sprint Challenge and the China Endurance Championship, two racing series in which Mercedes-AMG was heavily involved, reached their respective climaxes at the Shanghai International Circuit last weekend. In the GT Super Sprint Challenge, Li Donghui in the #74 Mercedes-AMG GT4 of Team 777 By ClimaxRacing took the class win on both race days. The number 7 sister car driven by Li Dong Sheng (CHN) finished third in its class in the two races. The KRC - Kang's Racing Company #85 Mercedes-AMG GT4 driven by Kristie Zhu (CHN) crossed the finish line fifth in its class on both Saturday and Sunday. FFA Racing's Xiuping Xi (CHN) secured a strong fifth place overall in Saturday's 27-minute race after starting from eighth.

Mercedes-AMG Motorsport also received reports of strong results in the China Endurance Championship at the Shanghai International Circuit last weekend, the best of which was a P2 in class courtesy of Chris Chia, Wang Hao, Liu Ran and Dennis Zhang (all CHN) in the number 21 Phantom Pro Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3. The #34 sister car put the icing on the cake with a fourth place in class. The #1 Mercedes-AMG GT3 entered by Toro Racing and driven by Luo Kailou (CHN) and Massimilian Wiser (ITA) finished a strong fifth overall. The two Mercedes-AMG GT4s of Climax Racing (start numbers 555 and 777) contributed a fifth and a sixth place in their class to the Mercedes-AMG Motorsport cause.

Tales from the paddock
Tales from the paddock