Since 1996, Mercedes-Benz has been supplying the FIA Formula One World Championship with safety cars. That changes this year, albeit, Mercedes-AMG will still be a part of the new safety and medical cars.
Breaking the decades-long tradition, Aston Martin will now be supplying the safety and medical cars for the 2021 season. It's official: the Aston Martin Vantage is the Formula 1 safety car while the DBX, the carmaker's first SUV, will be the medical car – both powered by the same twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre Mercedes-AMG M177 V8 engine.
Gallery: Official Formula 1 Aston Martin Safety And Medical Cars
As seen in the images above, both the Vantage and DBX will be wearing the Racing Green team colour of the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team. Both will have Lime Green accents on the body, while certain modifications are added to better suit their purposes, such as the roof-mounted LED light-bar and the FIA markings, along with chassis and aerodynamic improvements.
FIA's appointed driver, Bernd Mayländer, and former race driver, Richard Darker, will be piloting the safety car. Meanwhile, Alan van der Merwe will be at the helm of the medical car.
Power's increased for the Vantage safety car – an additional 24 bhp for a total output of 528 bhp (394 kilowatts) and 505 pound-feet (685 Newton-metres) of torque. The Aston Martin DBX medical car, on the other hand, makes do with its 542 bhp (405 kW) and 516 lb-ft (700 Nm) of twists.
The two AMG-powered Aston Martin vehicles will be making their F1 debut at the three-day pre-season test in Bahrain on March 12-14, 2021. They will then join the opening round of the FIA Formula One World Championship at the same track two weeks later.
Of note, the Mercedes-AMG GT R was the official F1 safety car since 2018, following the AMG GT S's stint from 2015 to 2017. This is the first time in the history of Formula One that the British luxury brand supplies the official safety and medical cars.