Formula 1 Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes and Pirelli got away with it (mostly)

2013 Spanish Grand Prix

While we were off last week the FIA International Tribunal delivered its verdict on the so-called secret tyre test carried out by Pirelli and Mercedes AMG.

The test was brought into question on account of Mercedes using a 2013-spec car driven by Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, complete with disguised helmets. Such circumstances would appear to be a clear breach of the rules which ban in-season testing. In handing down its findings the International Tribunal said Mercedes did gain an unfair advantage.

A portion of the detailed ruling, which has been published by the FIA, reads:

It is inconceivable that Mercedes did not obtain a material advantage from three days of testing even if only as a result of the running of its car(s) – wholly irrespective of any matter relating to tyres.

Further, Ross Brawn candidly accepted in his evidence that it was inevitable that some advantage had been obtained, although he regarded that advantage as having been minimal.

Yet, on the face of it, both parties got away with it.

Officially, both Mercedes and Pirelli have been reprimanded and Mercedes will be forced to sit out the three-day young driver test to be held at Silverstone next month.

Since the young driver tests have been moved to mid-season, instead of after the final race, they have morphed from an opportunity to assess young talent to a more season-specific test where teams will extract useable data for the remaining races.

So, on the surface, the penalty will hurt Mercedes, but really, it’s all a bit wet lettuce leaf. The FIA, meanwhile, says it will endeavour to clarify matters regarding testing to ensure similar incidents don’t happen again.

Official commentary from the FIA can be read below.

Formula 1 Mercedes-Benz Red Bull Racing

2013 Canadian GP: Qualifying report

2013 Canadian Grand Prix

Rain and a red flag couldn’t stop Sebastian Vettel from claiming his 39th career pole position overnight. The Red Bull driver set the fastest time (1:25.425) at the Canadian Grand Prix and will start ahead of Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes, 1:25.512).

Next is a surprise result for Valtteri Bottas (Williams, 1:25.512), who will start from P3, easily the best qualifying position in his short F1 career. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes, 1:25.512) may have started the last three grands prix from pole, but the best the Monaco Grand Prix winner could manage was fourth.

Mark Webber (Red Bull, 1:25.512) will line up on the third row of the grid in P5, with Fernando Alonso (Ferrari, 1:25.512) alongside from P6.

Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso, 1:27.946) outqualified his teammate Daniel Ricciardo (1:27.946) and it’s the first time this year both made it into Q3. Vergne will start from P7 and Ricciardo qualified tenth but will start from P11 (see below).

Felipe Massa again found trouble in qualifying, following up his crash at Monaco with another barrier-finding moment here in Canada. That brought out a red flag in Q2 with just under two minutes left to run. When the track re-opened all the remaining cars lined up in pit lane to chase entry into Q3.

Several drivers were side-by-side in pit lane, leaving some drivers outside the designated fast lane, which is not strictly allowed. However, only Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus) and Daniel Ricciardo were penalised. Both were given two-spot penalties and will now start from P10 and P11 respectively. In a quirk of process both drivers only move back one grid place, as explained by the FIA.

F1 in pictures Formula 1 Lotus McLaren Mercedes-Benz Red Bull Racing Renault

2011 Chinese Grand Prix in pictures

2011 Chinese GP

Still buzzing after the excitement of the Chinese Grand Prix? We reckon Lewis Hamilton probably is after he managed break the grip Sebastian Vettel was starting to force on the 2011 Formula One season.

Here’s 90 pics to help you relive all the action.

Ferrari Formula 1 Mercedes-Benz Red Bull Racing Renault

2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in pictures

2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Here is our last image gallery from the 2010 Formula One season. Bringing you these pics has been a fun, albeit labour intensive, addition to the AUSmotive routine and we look forward to bringing you more great pics in 2011.

For now, though, here are 101 photos from the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. It is Sebastian Vettel’s time to shine; Mark Webber fans – you may want to look away now.


Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake given green light

Mercedes-Benz Shooting Break Concept

Mercedes has just announced its very cool CLS Shooting Brake concept will become a production reality in 2012. The concept was first shown in April this year in Beijing at the Auto China show.

Now that the four-door coupé is set for production Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars is a bit excited, “In 2004, Mercedes-Benz established a new vehicle segment with the four-door Coupé CLS and created a design icon. 170,000 customers around the globe show how enthusiastic this car has been received by the market. The decision to build the CLS Shooting Brake underscores the leading role of Mercedes-Benz in regards of innovative passenger car concepts and design – and that is exactly what the customers expect from us.”

The Shooting Brake will be built on the same production line as the CLS and the E-Class sedan at Sindelfingen.


Mercedes-Benz CLS: The video

Mercedes-Benz CLS

“It is now responsible for those butterflies in your stomach. The new CLS from Mercedes-Benz. Because seduction has to be flawless.”

Well, that’s what the deep-voiced man on the video reckons. I’m not so sure, to be honest.


2011 Mercedes-Benz CLS

Mercedes-Benz CLS

Mercedes-Benz has taken the cover off its new CLS four-door coupé, announcing the car will have its official reveal at the Paris Motor Show in October.

Four-door coupé, by definition, is a misnomer, of course, but in 2003 Mercedes was one of the first companies to reveal such a concept. After going on sale it did pretty well for Benz, too, achieving 170,000 sales worldwide.

This new model, then, will it live up to the expectations set by the first generation CLS? Does it manage to maintain that slaoon/coupé look?

In profile things look okay up front, but when you get to the rear, especially the point where wheel arch meets door, well, things do start getting a bit complicated, don’t they. It’s a bit hard to tell from the dramatically lit photos if this is a bad complicated, or a good complicated. It’s a bit easier to be more certain about the rear light assembly. It’s ghastly!

Full details are avilable after the break, along with more images—all accessible in 2000px super image sizing, too, just click on the pics for the larger versions.

I’d love to hear what you think of this “new design icon” from Mercedes. Have they hit the spot, or got it horribly wrong?


VIDEO: David Coulthard, the Isle of Man and the SLS AMG

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

The combination of ex-Formula One driver, revered tarmac and Mercedes’ latest supercar is one well worth savouring. Indeed, Mercedes-Benz made a 3D film about the experience. You can watch the old-skool 2D version featuring David Coulthard after the jump. There’s also a mini making of documentary, too, which is well worth a look.

You might recall Tiff Needell from Fifth Gear tested the SLS on the day this film was being shot. If you’re a fan of the latest Mercedes Gullwing, then watch Tiff ripping it around the Isle of Man TT course once again.

[via motorcentral]

Fifth Gear Mercedes-Benz

Tiff Needell on the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

Fifth Gear - Mercedes Benz SLS AMG

In a recent episode of the revised Fifth Gear television program former F1 racer Tiff Needell got some one on one time with the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG ‘Gullwing’. The location for his drive? The Isle of Man. As it is the Isle of Man presents some kind of motoring nirvana; the roads there have no speed limit. However, for Tiff’s drive the roads were closed. With no oncoming traffic to worry about how do you reckon he went? Take the jump to find out.

Ferrari Formula 1 McLaren Mercedes-Benz Red Bull Racing Renault

2010 British Grand Prix in pictures

2010 British Grand Prix

With victory at Silverstone overnight Mark Webber became the first driver to win three races in 2010. And, following that qualifying wing-swap controversy with teammate Sebastian Vettel, what a satisfying win it was too.

Webber was determined to take the lead by the first corner and after the race he explained, “It was pretty straightforward. I made a good start. I was very keen to make it my corner and it worked out well for me, so it was good.”

The Australian was still firm in his views when asked in the post-race press conference about the situation from qualifying, “Yesterday was a really unique situation. It was the first time that the team had really had one component. Honestly I would never have signed a contract again for next year if I believed that that was the way it was going to be going forward. That’s why I was disappointed yesterday and was honest with you guys. Let’s see how it goes in the future but I just keep doing what I do and hopefully it’s enough.”

The complete transcript from the press-conference is now available at Also, selected team and driver quotes recorded after the race, including words from Vettel, can be read as well.

After the jump a set of Red Bull Racing images captured from race day and qualifying are available. Images from other teams to follow soon.

UPDATE: brings us some amazing allegations of intra-team rivalry at Red Bull Racing: “Webber’s mechanics were said to have removed the ‘old’ front wing that Webber had been forced to race with and waved it at Vettel’s side of the garage.”

UPDATE II: New pics from McLaren, Mercedes GP, Williams, Sauber, Force India, Toro Rosso, Renault and Ferrari added below.


Mercedes-Benz F 800 Style Research Vehicle

Mercedes-Benz F 800

Today is the turn of Mercedes-Benz to reveal their star before the Geneva Motor Show. One wonders if there will be any surprises left when the show opens to the public on 4 March. However, Mercedes have most definitely surprised with this new concept called the F 800 Style Research Vehicle. Just look at it. An astonishing blend of curves and surfacing that looks for all money as though it could never have emerged from Mercedes-Benz.

Mercedes-Benz are also spruiking the news that the F 800 Style will be the vehicle future Benz models are inspired by. Bravo!

The surprises don’t stop with the F 800’s exterior either. The rear doors slide back, as you might expect on a people mover. The front doors open conventionally and the lack of a b-pillar offers a generous opening to make access into the car a breeze. Once inside you are greeted with a pretty wild interior, as well. It’s quite sparse, but take a gander at that steering wheel. What is that all about!

Pushing the envelope even further the F 800 Style has two drivetrain options, a petrol-electric hybrid or a hydrogen powered fuel-cell electric motor. The latter has a theoretical range of 600km of emissions-free travelling.

There’s heaps to see and read after the break, so sit down and enjoy.

Mercedes-Benz Random wallpapers

Random wallpaper: Mercedes-Benz 300 SLS

Mercedes-Benz 300 SLS at 2007 Classic Adelaide

Isn’t she beautful! This is a rare Mercedes-Benz 300 SLS which was in Australia last year competing in the Classic Adelaide rally. Based on the 300 SL, the car all AUSmotive staff agree is the most beautiful car in the world, the SLS was brought to Australia from the Mercedes-Benz Classic Centre in Stuttgart to participate in last year’s rally. Mercedes reckon “its elegant body and powerful six-cylinder engine engage the senses in a way only few cars can”. Pretty hard to argue with that.

Of course, it would be cruel to have given you only one image wouldn’t it…