Mercedes has been the F1 Safety Car supplier since 1996 onwards. The Safety Car seen the progress from the Mercedes C36 AMG in 1996 to Mercedes SL 55 AMG in 2001 and 2002 to the current Mercedes AMG GT R that has been in use since 2018 and is the most powerful F1 Safety Car till this day. But, Mercedes was not always the provider of it. There have been 5 different suppliers since the introduction of safety car in 1973, and these have been: Porsche, Fiat, Opel, Honda and Renault.
The Mercedes F1 Safety Car is definitely something known by many. Driven by Bernd Mayländer since 2000, it became a duo easily recognisable to all F1 fans. There is indeed no official information if this rumour is true, but an information learned by independent reporters, and it sets an alarming signal into the environment, especially with the frequent rumours of Wolff/Mercedes as we know it now it exiting the sport. Could the decision to not provide the safety car anymore had something to do with the increasing attention towards Mercedes’ ideas about abandoning its F1 programme as we got used to it?
Apparently, a big contender to take over the spot left by Mercedes in terms of suppling the safety car is Aston Martin. This could possibly be linked with the fact that Mercedes does have an existing stake in the British Manufacturer, and Aston Martin is also entering F1 as a rebranded Racing Point team. These are only speculations for now, but they do definitely pose an interesting discussion.
There has been more information revealed as of now, and that is that Mercedes will share the duties with Aston Martin. How? It is believed Aston will provide the Safety Car, while Mercedes will remain as the supplier of the Medical Car to F1. It has been said it is done so to relieve the financial burden that comes into existence with the upcoming 23 races calendar expected for 2021. So while most likely Bernd Mayländer will have a new ride from the upcoming season, Alan van der Merwe, the driver of the Medical Car will most likely still drive a Mercedes. It is also understood that Mercedes, at least in 2021 will supply the Safety Car for around half of the season, while Aston Martin will do so for the other races. This switch is possible due to the before-mentioned increased partnership between Mercedes and Aston Martin.