For the first time in nearly twenty years, the Safety Car will no longer be a Mercedes exclusive. During the next Formula 1 season, the silver arrows will be joined – in an alternation to be discovered – by the Aston Martin Vantage as Safety Car and by the DBX SUV, promoted to medical car of the Circus. The British coupe will be driven by Bernd Mayländer, who has over twenty years of experience as a Safety Car driver; a particular job, which plans to remain waiting, but always ready to go, for the whole race. Compared to the production model, the Vantage 4.0 bi-turbo V8 sees power increase to 535 hp, while the 685 Nm of torque are unchanged and acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h takes 3.5 seconds. To manage the extra power, an aerodynamic package has been prepared, which creates 155.6 kg of downforce at 200 km / h, while a hood derived from that of the Vantage GT4 has been installed for cooling.
Other changes concerned the brakes with carbon-ceramic discs, suspension, steering, shock absorbers and underbody reinforcements to increase front structural rigidity, while Pirelli high-performance tires are standard. The bodywork was painted in classic Racing Green and the rest of the trim features body-side mounted radio antennas, an LED rear license plate and a custom roof-mounted LED light bar on a carbon fiber plinth. Then there is a rear view camera that sends its image into a second rearview mirror located inside the cockpit, allowing the co-driver to monitor any activity taking place behind the Safety Car. Inside, the racing seats are FIA approved and equipped with 6-point safety belts.
Then there are two dashboard screens that provide the driver and co-driver with television images and a variety of information, including lap times and track positioning of the cars. The “Marshalling System” is integrated into the instrument cluster and dashboard, allowing both driver and second driver to see which flag is shown on the track. Finally, there are cameras mounted above and inside the car, to provide live TV footage. The Aston Martin DBX medical car, on the other hand, has to carry a significant amount of equipment including a large medical bag, a defibrillator, two fire extinguishers and a burn kit. Also inside are four sports bucket seats, each equipped with a 6-point seat belt. Development of both these official cars was carried out by the Aston Martin engineering team. Both vehicles underwent 15,000km of testing at the Silverstone plant.