The Mercedes-AMG GT R has been confirmed as the official FIA F1 Safety Car for the 2018 Formula 1 season.

Taking over from the AMG GT S that did duty from 2015 to 2017, the Affalterbach-tuned monster is the most powerful safety car in F1’s history, with its twin-turbo 4,0-litre V8 sending 430 kW to the rear wheels.

Bernd Mayländer, the man tasked with driving the safety car in 2018, is suitably pleased with his new wheels.

"I am very much looking forward to my new company car. It is an absolute highlight in terms of driving dynamics and is one level higher up still than the AMG GT S of recent years,” said Mayländer.

“Of course, ideally the safety car should be deployed as rarely as possible – but when we have to safely bunch up the Formula 1 field and lead it around the track, we will be superbly equipped with the AMG GT R," he added.

So, how is this example different from the standard one you can buy at your local AMG dealership? Firstly, it gains the optional AMG Track Package with roll-over protection system and the ceramic high-performance compound braking system.

Then, of course, there’s the livery as well as the light bar sited on the roof. The latter is positioned on a carbon-fibre air scoop designed to offer the least possible air resistance while at the same time providing for an aerodynamically optimised flow of air towards the rear aerofoil.

Mayländer’s co-driver, Richard Darker, monitors the F1 cars by means of two iPads. The display of the left one shows the international TV broadcast, while the right one can feature either an animated display of the current position of the vehicles or show current lap times. Data management for the visual communication solutions is handled by an in-car hotspot with WLAN wireless network.

And the medical car? Well, this year it’s the 375 kW Mercedes-AMG C63 S Estate. At the wheel is South African racing driver Alan van der Merwe, while his co-driver is FIA F1 deputy medical delegate, Dr Ian Roberts. The rear seats accommodate one or two assistant medics from a selected specialist hospital near the particular racetrack.

Mercedes-AMG GT R and C63 S Estate