Tales from the paddock: Victory in a season opener and a return to Monaco

Apr 27, 2022

News from the world of motorsport - from Imola, Monaco and Spa-Francorchamps

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

This is what happened: Results and facts

  • Formula One: P4 for George Russell in Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola
  • ADAC GT Masters: Jules Gounon and Fabian Schiller win Sunday's race at Oschersleben season opener
  • 24H Series: Runner-up spot for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 in 12-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps

News snippets

Tough weekend at Imola: The venue for the fourth contest of the 2022 Formula One season was the historic Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola, with the first sprint race of the year as a prelude. The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix weekend was a frustrating experience for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team, with George Russell's P4 in the race providing the only bright spot. After a rain-affected qualifying session, Lewis Hamilton found himself stuck in a midfield DRS train while lacking the car pace to progress up the field on a circuit that does not lend itself to overtaking. He finished the Grand Prix in 13th place. In two weeks' time (6 ‑ 8 May), F1 will be breaking new ground as the Miami International Autodrome makes its grand prix debut.

Monaco, here we come: The iconic street circuit in the Principality of Monaco will be hosting the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship for the fifth time next weekend. However, it will be the first E-Prix to make use of the complete and unmodified GP circuit, including the Nouvelle Chicane. For Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries, Monaco is a sort of home race, as both have resident status in the Principality. The Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team competed in the Monaco E-Prix for the first time last year and this season travels to the sixth round topping the Team Championship. Stoffel is currently third in the Drivers' World Championship, four points behind leader Jean-Eric Vergne, with Nyck in eighth place.

ADAC GT Masters starts with a victory for Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing: Jules Gounon (FRA) and Fabian Schiller (GER) in the number 4 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Drago Racing Team ZvO won Sunday's race on the opening weekend of the 2022 ADAC GT Masters. Gounon's experience showed through in the morning's qualifying session at Motorsport Arena Oschersleben as he delivered a super-fast lap to book P2 on the grid for the one-hour race. The French Mercedes-AMG Performance driver immediately put the pole-sitter under pressure and took the lead going into turn three. When he handed over to his team-mate Fabian Schiller midway through the race, the GT Masters debutant kept a cool head to claim a maiden win in the International German GT Championship in only his second race. Jonathan Aberdein (RSA) and Raffaele Marciello (SUI) driving the number 48 Mercedes-AMG GT3 also secured a podium for the brand on Sunday with P3 finish, going one better than on Saturday when they came fourth. The MANN-FILTER Team LANDGRAF duo travel to the second round of the season at Spielberg in Austria (20th ‑ 22nd May) occupying second place in the championship.

Sharing the billing at Oschersleben was the season opener of the 2022 ADAC GT4 Germany. The two 60-minute races produced four Top Ten finishes for the seven Mercedes-AMG GT4s in the field.

Customer Racing outfits impress with strong recovery at NLS 3: There were four Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing teams in the line-up for the third round of the 2022 Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS) on Saturday, the last official outing ahead of the qualifying weekend (7th/8th May) for the Nürburgring 24-hour race. However, multiple Code 60s during qualifying resulted in the four Mercedes-AMG GT3s having to start the dress rehearsal on the Nordschleife from 19th, 20th, 25th and 27th respectively. Despite the disappointment, the experienced drivers of Mercedes-AMG GT3s resolutely set about the task of working their way through the field. By the halfway point of the four-hour race, Manuel Metzger and Luca Stolz in the #12 GT3 of Mercedes-AMG Team Bilstein and Patrick Assenheimer and Luca-Sandro Trefz (all GER) in the #55 car of LANDGRAF Young Talents had already made a breakthrough into the Top Ten. Thereafter, progress became slower, not least because of on-track incidents reducing opportunities for overtaking. LANDGRAF Young Talents eventually crossed the line in eighth place, with Mercedes-AMG Team Bilstein not far behind in tenth. The #8 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed also drove a creditable race, coming home in eleventh.

CP Racing take runner-up spot in fourth round of 24H Series: CP Racing narrowly missed out on overall victory in the two-part 12-hour race at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. Charles Espenlaub, Shane Lewis and Charles Putman (all USA) sharing the cockpit of the number 85 Mercedes-AMG GT4 emerged from the five-and-a-half-hour Part 1 on Saturday leading the field. The following day, they were involved in an almighty tussle for the win, but low fuel levels towards the end of the race obliged them to relinquish the lead. After a total 255 laps, the trio crossed the finish line in a strong second place, which also earned them victory in the AM class. The next round of the 24H Series will likewise be held over a distance of twelve hours and will be contested at the Hockenheimring on the weekend of 13 ‑ 15 May.

Overall podium and class wins at season opener of Italian GT Championship: The Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing teams made a great start to the 2022 Italian GT Championship, delivering solid results in the first two races at the legendary Autodromo Nazionale Monza. Having narrowly missed out on the podium with fourth place in Saturday's race, Matteo Cressoni and Kikko Galbiati (both ITA) in the #17 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Antonelli MotorSport were rewarded for a strong performance in Sunday's 50-minute race, finishing a respectable third.

The weekend also went well for the Mercedes-AMG GT4 contingent. Alessandro Marchetti (ITA) and Alexander Scherpen (NOR) in the number 207 car took victory in this category on both Saturday and Sunday. Filippo Bencivenni and Fulvio Ferri (both ITA) in the #228 Antonelli MotorSport GT4 made it a one-two finish in the first race, and the following day they produced another podium finish for third place in class.

Formula E - Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team, Rome E-Prix 2022. Stoffel Vandoorne
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, 2022 Emilia Romagna GP. George Russell
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, 2022 Emilia Romagna GP. Lewis Hamilton
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, 2022 Emilia Romagna GP. Lewis Hamilton
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, 2022 Emilia Romagna GP. George Russell
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, 2022 Emilia Romagna GP. George Russell
#405 Mercedes-AMG GT4, RAM Racing
Jon Minshaw, Katarina Kyvalova, Phil Keen and Ian Loggie, #405 Mercedes-AMG GT4, RAM Racing
#4 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Drago Racing Team ZvO
Fabian Schiller and Jules Gounon, #4 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Drago Racing Team ZvO
Jonathan Aberdein and Raffaele Marciello, #48 Mercedes-AMG GT3, MANN-FILTER Team LANDGRAF
#207 Mercedes-AMG GT4, Nova Race, und #228 Mercedes-AMG GT4, Antonelli MotorSport
#17 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Antonelli MotorSport
#44 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Antonelli MotorSport
#207 Mercedes-AMG GT4, Nova Race
#55 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Landgraf Motorsport
#2 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Schnitzelalm Racing
#177 Mercedes-AMG GT4, Waldow Performance
#177 Mercedes-AMG GT4, Waldow Performance