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What a Race! If this is what we can expect for the rest of the 2008 season – hold on! This was the first race without the aid of traction control and it really showed. Between crashes and mechanical failures only 7 of the 22 cars that started the race took the chequered flag.
The McLaren Mercedes Team stayed above all of this and kept one of their cars in the for the lead whole race. Our new driver, Heikki Kovalainen, put on a stunning performance. He led for 8 laps and posted the fastest lap of the race. Lewis Hamilton started on pole and led for 50 laps to take the win by more than 5 seconds. This puts him in the lead for the driver’s championship and, combined with Heikki’s fifth place finish, puts the Mclaren Mercedes Team well ahead in the constructors championship.
The large number of accidents also gave plenty of air time to the new 2009 SL63 AMG safety car. A Mercedes did lead every lap!
Since 1996 Mercedes-Benz and AMG have supplied the official Formula One Safety Car and the 2008 season will continue this great tradition. Mercedes relationship with the world’s most popular form of motor racing has provide huge awareness of the stunning combination of luxury and performance that all AMG models provide their owners. Taking over from the CLK63 AMG used in 2006 and 2007, the newly updated SL63 has been modified to take over the 2008 Safety Car duties. In addition the obvious addition of lights and safety equipment this SL has been stripped of it’s retractable top mechanism and various panels have been replace with carbon fiber. These changes resulted in almost 500 pounds of weight savings.
Mercedes will also provide new wheels for Formula One’s Race Doctor and first responders. Based on the C63 AMG wagon, that we don’t get to enjoy in this country, the 2008 Medical Car carries a response team of four and emergency equipment as fast as possible to any accident.
Qualifying for the first Formula One race of the season starts in just 7 days.
Rumors hit the net this morning that the team principal of McLaren Mercedes Formula One team, Ron Dennis, has been fired. The teams reasoning for this seems to surround Stepneygate and his handling of the team tensions between Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso. For me the huge role he played in bringing Lewis Hamilton up through the ranks to become one of the greatest rookie drivers in F1 history out weighs all of those issues.
It was announced yesterday that Ralf Schumacher will be racing for Mercedes this year in our DTM car! As an avid Formula 1 fan, I have watched Ralf race for years in the shadow of his brother, 7-time Formula 1 champion Michael Schumacher, and I am excited to see what he can do in the DTM series! His first race is April 13th at the season opener in Hockenheim. The Schumacher name is always good to have on board and he is certainly an experienced driver. We don’t get much coverage of the series here but I can keep up online.
It looks like Lewis Hamilton will be with our McLaren Mercedes F1 team through 2012. His stunning rookie season earned him a 3800% raise to a $27 million a year. He is a huge asset to the team and really made the 2007 season something to watch. I was worried that a without Michael Shumacher Formula One might lose something, but last year’s three way battle for the championship was great. I really wish Lewis wouldn’t have parked it in the gravel coming into the pits in China. That would have probably given him the championship and one more record breaking rookie first to go along with his many others he racked up. To review he had the most wins in a debut season at 4, most pole positions in a debut season at 6, most consecutive podiums from debut race at 9, and he’s the youngest driver to ever lead the Formula One points championship. Lewis fits great with the Mercedes brand and I can wait for the first race of the 2008 season in Melbourne on March 16th.
If you watch Formula 1 and/or know who Mika Hakkinen is you will love the end of this commercial that didn’t make it to the US.