Tales from the paddock: The world of motorsport looks to Sochi and the Nürburgring

Sep 23, 2020

The 2020 motorsport season is currently a procession of standout events, with the Grand Prix in Sochi and the 24-hour classic in the Eifel due to take place next weekend

  • 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

  • ADAC GT Masters: Indy Dontje and Max Götz finish Race 2 at the Hockenheimring in P4
  • ADAC GT4 Germany: Mercedes-AMG GT4 pairing of Julien Apothéloz and Luca-Sandro Trefz make it onto the podium
  • GTWC America: Third and fourth place for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the two races at Circuit of the Americas
  • British GT Championship: Sam De Haan and Patrick Kujala victorious at Donington Park
  • DTM Trophy: Tim Heinemann wins both races at the Nürburgring

News snippets

Sochi, here we come: The Sochi Autodrom will be the venue for the seventh Russian Grand Prix this weekend. In its still young Formula One history, the venue for the 2014 Winter Olympics has so far been a happy hunting ground for Mercedes. Since the Russian Grand Prix made its debut in 2014, the team has won all six races there: Lewis Hamilton has stood on the top spot of the podium four times, with Nico Rosberg and Valtteri Bottas each winning once. In qualifying, however, Ferrari have booked pole position twice in the past three years. The current track record is held by Valtteri with a time of 1:31.387 minutes which he set in Q3 in the 2018 season. However, the brand with the three-pointed star enjoyed successes in Russia long before the Formula One premiere in Sochi: in 1913 and 1914, Benz cars won the only other two Grands Prix to be hosted by the country.

Mercedes-AMG Motorsport ready for the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring: Now into its 48th season, the ADAC TOTAL 24-hour race at the Nürburgring (24th - 27th September), is one of the highlights of the international GT3 racing calendar. Affalterbach-built cars are among the favourites after strong performances in the current Nordschleife campaign. Two overall victories and a total of six podium places in the current season of the Nürburgring Langstrecken-Serie (NLS) are a clear signal that the Customer Racing teams are well prepared for the endurance classic in the Eifel. With seven Mercedes-AMG GT3s on the grid and a quality driver line-up, Mercedes-AMG Motorsport is aiming for a third win in the ‘Green Hell’ to add to those secured in 2013 and 2016. Adam Christodoulou (GBR), Maro Engel and Manuel Metzger (both GER) - three members of the winning crew in 2016 - will drive the number 2 Mercedes-AMG GT3, one of four cars that have been entered with extended factory support. Three of the high-performance cars will be fielded by Mercedes-AMG Team HRT (#2, #4 and #6); the fourth factory supported car is the number 9 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of GetSpeed Performance. The number 22 Mercedes-AMG GT3 will have a special paint job for the race weekend: by way of tribute to ten years of Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing, the 10Q Racing Team’s vehicle will be decorated with the official anniversary logo. The starting order on the grid will be decided by the Top Qualifiers session on Friday (start time 17:50 CEST). On Saturday, more than 100 cars will be starting the legendary 24-hour race at 15:30 CEST. This year, the race will take place with almost no spectators; according to the latest information, only a limited number of fans will be allowed onto the Grand Prix grandstand.

Top Ten finishes for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport in the ADAC GT Masters: On the third weekend of the 2020 ADAC GT Masters at the Hockenheimring, Mercedes-AMG Motorsport registered no fewer than five Top Ten finishes. The number 47 and 48 Mercedes-AMG GT3s of MANN-FILTER Team HTP-WINWARD finished sixth and ninth in Race 1 and then fourth and seventh in Race 2. The best result of the weekend was posted by Indy Dontje (NED) and Maximilian Götz (GER) in the #47 with a P4 on Sunday. Maro Engel and Luca Stolz (both GER), driving for Toksport WRT (#22), who had led the overall standings going into the Hockenheimring weekend, had to wait until Sunday before adding to their points score; they come away with seven championship points for ninth place in the second race. Now down to third place, Engel and Stolz are only seven points behind the leaders, with eight races on four weekends still to be contested.

In the ADAC GT4 Germany races held at the same venue, Julien Apothéloz (SUI) and Luca-Sandro Trefz (GER) in the number 48 Mercedes-AMG GT4 of MANN-FILTER Team HTP-WINWARD made their second podium appearance of the season. After a P5 in Saturday’s race, the pairing finished third on Sunday, which is the position they also occupy in the championship standings.

Podium successes in the GT World Challenge America: The GT World Challenge America races at the Circuit of The Americas again resulted in podium finishes for Customer Racing teams. The Winward Racing duo of Alec Udell and Russell Ward (both USA) in the number 33 Mercedes-AMG GT3 finished the first of the two 90-minute races in third place overall and were twice runners-up in the Silver Cup. With two third places in the Pro-Am class, David Askew (USA) and Ryan Dalziel (GBR) in the number 63 Mercedes-AMG GT3 also contributed vital points towards the manufacturers’ championship of the GT World Challenge.

Victory in the British GT Championship: Sam De Haan (NED) and Patrick Kujala (FIN) of RAM Racing won the British GT Championship race at Donington Park after mounting a heroic charge through the field. Following a spin on the first lap that left them trailing, the duo in the number 69 Mercedes-AMG GT3 steadily clawed their way back over the course of the three-hour race to cross the finish line in first place. The victory also saw De Haan and Kujala take the lead in the championship standings. The other two Mercedes-AMG GT3s were also successful in their class, with father-son partnership Richard and Sam Neary (both GBR) in the number 8 of ABBA Racing taking second place in the Silver class. Yelmer Buurman (NED) and Ian Loggie (GRB) in the other RAM Racing car (#6) finished the race third in the Pro-Am class.

Winning streak in the DTM Trophy continues: He just can’t stop winning! Tim Heinemann (GER) has continued his triumphant march in the DTM Trophy. In the second instalment of the double-header at the Nürburgring, he was again unbeatable in the number 46 Mercedes-AMG GT4 of HP Racing International. On Saturday as well as Sunday, he celebrated a lights-to-flag victory and has now won a total of six races in a row. Heinemann has built up a massive lead in the championship and could wrap up the title early as early as the next scheduled event at Zolder (16th - 18th October). Jan Kisiel (POL) still has hopes of stopping him: the Leipert Motorsport driver in the number 4 car joined Heinemann on the podium for the fourth time this season, finishing third overall in the second race last Sunday.

GT4 successes in Italy and Spain: In the three-hour Italian GT Championship race at Autodromo Vallelunga, Luca Magnoni and Massimo De Luca (both ITA) in the number 277 Mercedes-AMG GT4 of Nova Racing won the GT4AM classification. The result meant that Luca Magnoni was able to celebrate the drivers’ championship in his class with races to spare. The sister car (#207) driven by Claudio Formenti, Filippo Manasseri and Mario Minella (all ITA) finished third in the same class.

NM Racing Team celebrated class wins two and three of the season in the Campeonato de España Resistencia event held at Jerez. Jesús A De Martin Muñoz and Rafael Villanueva driving the number 126 Mercedes-AMG GT4 finished first in their class in both 48-minute races.

Social Media News

#FantasyIsland: It is the most famous Item of furniture in Formula One - with the possible exception of the deckchair that Fernando once sat in! Simon takes viewers on a tour of our engineers’ island in the team garage - or, as we like to call it, ‘Fantasy Island’.

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qMEWG3PrR4

#SpeedDating: Ready for another speed-date? Get to know Toto, Lewis and Valtteri better with a few quickfire questions and decide if you are ready for a third date...

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsNF2653jcQ

#FactoryFriday: The challenges of a triple-header, new regulations, F1 cars driving upside down on the ceiling and more. Here is a special edition of our #FactoryFriday Q&A series. This time, we sat down with our Technology Director Mike Elliott to answer the pick of the fan questions.

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=O03luSdexOI

#RaceDebrief: In the F1 race briefing for the 2020 Tuscany Grand Prix, James Vowles talks about safety car restarts, tyre strategies, smoking brakes and more.

Watch video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6mWBrHWHY8

#MercedesAMGMotorsport / #24hNBR: Green Hell calling! Mercedes-AMG driver Adam Christodoulou gets us all in the mood for the 24-hour race on a virtual lap of the famous 25.37 kilometres of the Nürburgring-Nordschleife.

Watch video: www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1490375001173235&extid=oL8ku29f0x5ALtMb

#MercedesAMGMotorsport / #24hNBR: Seven Mercedes-AMG GT3 cars, three teams, one race: our 27 GT3 drivers for the 24-hour marathon introduce themselves.

Watch video: www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2721986104795533&extid=9o790Ns8XwyZlcs7

#69 Mercedes-AMG GT3, RAM Racing
#69 Mercedes-AMG GT3, RAM Racing
#6 Mercedes-AMG GT3, RAM Racing
#33 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Winward Racing
#33 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Winward Racing
#63 Mercedes-AMG GT3, DXDT Racing
#63 Mercedes-AMG GT3, DXDT Racing and #33 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Winward Racing
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Tuscan GP 2020. Lewis Hamilton Valtteri Bottas
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Tuscan GP 2020. Lewis Hamilton
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Tuscan GP 2020. Lewis Hamilton
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Tuscan GP 2020. Valtteri Bottas
Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Tuscan GP 2020. Lewis Hamilton Valtteri Bottas
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
#22 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Toksport WRT
Maro Engel (left) and Luca Stolz, Toksport WRT
#48 Mercedes-AMG GT3, KNAUS Team HTP-WINWARD
#8 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Team ABBA Racing
Julien Apothéloz and Luca-Sandro Trefz, MANN-FILTER Team HTP-WINWARD at the podium ceremony
#8 Mercedes-AMG GT4, DLV-Team Schütz Motorsport
#10 Mercedes-AMG GT4, Dupré Motorsport Engineering