Tales from the paddock: Victory in Sochi and drama in the ‘Green Hell’

Sep 30, 2020

From Sochi to the Nürburgring, last weekend saw plenty of motor racing action all around the world

  • This is what happened: Results and facts
  • News from the Mercedes-AMG Motorsport teams
  • Social media news: What’s new online?

This is what happened: Results and facts

  • Formula One: Valtteri Bottas wins the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi, with Lewis Hamilton taking third place
  • GTWCE Sprint Cup: Podium for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 in Race 2 at Zandvoort
  • IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship: Lawson Aschenbach and Gar Robinson are runners-up at Mid Ohio
  • IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge: Two Top Three finishes for the Mercedes-AMG GT4 at the Mid Ohio Raceway

News snippets

Facts & figures from Sochi: The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team maintained its 100% win rate in the Russian Grand Prix in the seventh year that the race has been contested. Valtteri Bottas stood on the top step of the podium in Sochi for the second time, the first occasion having been in 2017. As with his maiden victory in the premier class of motorsport, he started from third place on the grid. Valtteri crowned his ninth Grand Prix success with the 15th fastest race lap of his Formula One career. Lewis Hamilton finished his 150th Grand Prix for the team in third place after a frustrating race in which he was handed two time penalties. On the way to booking his 96th pole position, Lewis set a new track record at the Sochi Autodrome with a qualifying time of 1:31.304 minutes. The next stop after Sochi for the team is the home race at the Nürburgring in two weeks’ time.

Top Ten finishes for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport in chaotic 24-hour race at the Nürburgring: The 48th running of the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring once again showed why this event ranks as one of the most famous endurance contests in the world. Forecasts about the outcome of the race are difficult to make, and the Nürburgring-Nordschleife – warily referred to as the ‘Green Hell’ – puts racing drivers to the test with generally tricky weather conditions. This was indeed what the Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing teams came up against. On Friday and Saturday, the Mercedes-AMG GT3 contingent put in a strong performance, with the number 4 car of Mercedes-AMG Team HRT booking pole position and five Affalterbach-built cars lining up among the Top Ten on the grid. The number 4 and the number 9 of Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed Performance looked to be on course for a one-two victory until five hours after the start of the race. Unfortunately, both cars then fell victim to the difficult weather conditions, spinning off on the slippery surface of the Nürburgring-Nordschleife. The race was halted until Sunday morning. When it resumed, the number 6 car fielded by Mercedes-AMG Team HRT AutoArenA worked its way back into the Top Three thanks to the sterling efforts of double starter Maro Engel (GER) but then had to make a series of unscheduled pit stops to sort out tyre problems. Ultimately, Patrick Assenheimer (GER), Dominik Baumann (AUT), Maro Engel and Dirk Müller (both GER) in the number 6 and Nico Bastian (GER), Yelmer Buurman (NED), Philip Ellis (SUI) and Hubert Haupt (GER) in the Mercedes-AMG Team HRT #2 had to settle for P8 and P9 respectively, but at least they finished in the Top Ten. In the course of the race, both cars had gained a total of eleven places. GetSpeed Performance’s number 10 car with Markus Palttala (FIN), Janine Shoffner (GBR), John Shoffner (USA) and Maxime Soulet (BEL) finished 17th overall, which was enough for them to take third in the SP9 Pro-Am class. The number 38 Mercedes-AMG GT4 of BLACK FALCON Team Textar driven by Mustafa Mehmet Kaya (TUR), Reinhold Renger (GER), Mike Stursberg (GER) and Tristan Viidas (EST), also provided a class podium, finishing second in the SP8T class.

Podium series in the GT World Challenge Europe continues: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport once again finished on the overall podium in the third of four GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Cup events. Timur Boguslavskiy (RUS) and Felipe Fraga (BRA) took the number 88 AKKA ASP Team Mercedes-AMG GT3 from sixth place on the grid to third at the chequered flag in the second race on Sunday. The Customer Racing teams also featured on the podium for Top Three results in the various classes. In Saturday’s race, the number 90 Madpanda Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 driven by Ezequiel Perez Companc (ARG) and Axcil Jefferies (ZIM) took third place in the Silver Cup. The ERC Sport duo of Phil Keen and Lee Mowle (both GBR) and the SPS automotive performance pairing of Nick Foster (AUS) and Valentin Pierburg (GER) took second and third place in the Pro-Am class. On Sunday, Juuso Puhakka (FIN) and Oscar Tunjo (COL) in the number 2 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Toksport WRT were runners-up in the Silver Cup. The number 20 of SPS automotive performance was again third in the Pro-Am class.

In the Sunday race of the GT4 European Series held at the same venue, Bob Herber (NED) in the number 31 Selleslagh Racing Team Mercedes-AMG GT4 secured the Pro-Am class win for the fourth time this season.

Podium finishes in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship: Riley Motorsports achieved their second podium finish of the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship at the Mid Ohio Raceway. At the end of 2 hours and 40 minutes of racing, Lawson Aschenbach and Gar Robinson (both USA) in the number 74 Mercedes-AMG GT3 crossed the finish line in second place, which is their best result of the season.

The Customer Racing teams also made it onto the podium in both two-hour races of the Michelin Pilot Challenge. Indy Dontje (NED) and Russell Ward (USA) in the number 4 Mercedes-AMG GT4 fielded by Winward Racing finished third in the first race. In Race 2, the number 35 of Riley Motorsports with Jim Cox and Dylan Murry (USA) sharing the cockpit secured second place. In the team classification, the two Mercedes-AMG GT4s now occupy third (Winward Racing) and fourth (Riley Motorsports) place.

Class victories at the International GT Open: In each of the two races of the International GT Open at Monza in Italy, the Mercedes-AMG GT3 posted a victory in the AM class. On Saturday, it was Alexander Moiseev and Alexey Nesov (both RUS) of AKM Motorsport lifting the class winners’ trophy, while on Sunday it was the turn of Jens Liebhauser and Florian Scholze (both GER) who drive for GetSpeed Performance. The PRO-AM duo of Christian Klien (AUT) and Patryk Krupinski (POL) of JP Motorsport also made a podium appearance on Sunday by virtue of finishing as runners-up in their class.

There were further Mercedes-AMG GT4 podium successes to report from Monza. In the GT Cup Open Europe, António Coimbra and Luis Silva (both POR) sharing the number 60 of Sports & You finished third overall in two races.

Social Media News

#MercedesAMGMotorsport / #24hNBR: The 48th running of the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring was heavily affected by challenging weather conditions. In our recap clip, we show the final phase of this highlight of the endurance calendar.

Watch video: www.facebook.com/watch/?v=632049927677051&extid=0BuZTQ3MZbZ3izBw

#MercedesAMGMotorsport / #24hNBR: 25.378 km in 8:57 minutes – Mercedes-AMG brand ambassador Maro Engel set the fastest time in the Top Qualifying session for the 24-hour race on the Nürburgring. This is his hot lap from an onboard perspective.

Watch video: www.facebook.com/watch/?v=959747474493498&extid=BXexXJL3zoOpuce

Gar Robinson (left) and Lawson Aschenbach, Riley Motorsports, at the podium ceremony
#4 Mercedes-AMG GT4, Winward Racing
#74 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Riley Motorsports
#35 Mercedes-AMG GT4, Riley Motorsports
Start of the 2020 ADAC TOTAL 24h-Rennen Nürburgring
#2 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT
#4 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT
#6 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT AutoArenA
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Russian GP 2020. Valtteri Bottas
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Russian GP 2020. Valtteri Bottas
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Russian GP 2020. Valtteri Bottas
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Russian GP 2020. Lewis Hamilton
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Russian GP 2020. Valtteri Bottas Lewis Hamilton
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Russian GP 2020. Lewis Hamilton
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Russian GP 2020. Valtteri Bottas
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Russian GP 2020. Valtteri Bottas Lewis Hamilton
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Russian GP 2020. Lewis Hamilton
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Russian GP 2020. Valtteri Bottas
#9 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed Performance
#22 Mercedes-AMG GT3, 10Q Racing
#10 Mercedes-AMG GT3, GetSpeed Performance
#38 Mercedes-AMG GT4, BLACK FALCON Team Textar
#44 Mercedes-AMG GT3, GetSpeed Performance
#20 Mercedes-AMG GT3, SPS automotive performance
#88 Mercedes-AMG GT3, JP Motorsport
#13 Mercedes-AMG GT3, AKM Motorsport
Timur Boguslavskiy, Mercedes-AMG Team AKKA ASP, Drivers’ Champion GT World Challenge Europe
#88 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Mercedes-AMG Team AKKA ASP
Ezequiel Perez Companc (left), Madpanda Motorsport, Drivers’ Champion Silver Cup GT World Challenge Europe
#90 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Madpanda Motorsport
#5 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Haupt Racing Team
#4 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT
#74 Mercedes-AMG GT3, RAM Racing
#100 Mercedes-AMG GT3, GetSpeed Performance