Every visitor to the Mercedes-Benz Museum will discover the diversity of the exhibition and the architecture from a very individual perspective. But which focal points of the museum and which of the stories they tell will become the focal point of that personal perception? Today, we will provide some insight from: Bernd Mayländer, driver of the Official FIA Safety Car and Mercedes-Benz Classic Brand Ambassador.
Mercedes-AMG GT R:
Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 12,4 l/100 km;
CO₂-Emissionen kombiniert: 284 g/km.¹
Nobody overtakes him in Formula One: Bernd Mayländer with the current Official FIA F1 Safety Car – a Mercedes-AMG GT R. Mayländer has been out there championing safety in the premier motorsport class since 2000.
The history of the very beginning of the motorcar inspires Bernd Mayländer when he visits the Legend Room 1 in the Mercedes-Benz Museum. Like Gottlieb Daimler, he also comes from Schorndorf. In the background we see the Daimler motorised coach from 1886 and the Benz patent motorcar.
“As a driver of the Formula 1 safety car, motorsports and safety go together for me. I can find both in the Mercedes-Benz Museum. What is particularly important about the museum is that the stories about the cars and the great technological innovations are always told in the context of the respective eras. That way, people understand better what pioneering achievements they were.”
“My personal highlight in the Mercedes-Benz Museum was the special exhibition on the Mercedes-AMG safety cars in 2015. Several of my official cars have been well received by visitors! And it’s great to see that my Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR from 1997 is now in the permanent exhibition. I participated in the FIA GT Championship together with Klaus Ludwig in that racing car.”
Testimony to 1997: Bernd Mayländer competed in the FIA GT Championship in the Mercedes-Benz GT CLK-GTR racing sports car. The car bears starting number 12 – as it did for the victory by the Klaus Ludwig / Bernd Mayländer / Bernd Schneider team on 20 July 1997 in the four-hour Zeltweg race on the former A1-Ring in Spielberg, Austria.
The will to compete is not only to be found in motorsports, but in all Mercedes-Benz innovations. Bernd Mayländer with the Daimler two-cylinder V-engine from 1894 (left) and in Legend Room 5 “Visionaries – Safety and the Environment”.
“The Daimler two-cylinder V-engine from 1894 was a great engine: it was the first racing engine in history – and it reflects the engineers’ perspective of the future. At the Mercedes-Benz Museum, it quickly becomes clear that competition to find the best solution breeds successful innovation. This idea of competing for the best is part of the Mercedes-Benz spirit.”
“The history of cars and motorsports needs to be brought to life. This is exactly what the museum and the Mercedes-Benz Classic events that take place outside the museum do. That’s why I link many legendary racing and sports cars in the exhibition with very current memories: as a brand ambassador, I am allowed to drive these cars at events such as the 1000 Miglia. My favourites? Definitely the 300 SL in its original version as a racing sports car and as a beautiful production sports car. Then, of course, the 300 SLR from 1955, but also the big supercharged touring sports cars of the late 1920s.”
Silver time machine: in May 2019, Bernd Mayländer, with Hans Herrmann in the co-driver’s seat, drove the original 300 SLR from the starting ramp of the 1000 Miglia in Brescia. “That was a very special moment,” says Mayländer, “after all, Hans Herrmann was one of the Mercedes-Benz racing drivers at the legendary Mille Miglia in 1955.” On the right, Mayländer in a 300 SLR in Legend Room 7 of the museum, “Silver Arrows – Races & Records”.
Brand milestones: Bernd Mayländer in front of the race track bend in Legend Room 7 of the Mercedes-Benz Museum.
“For almost 20 years, I witnessed the development of Formula One up close and in person. In the race track bend at the museum you can see some important milestones of this time. The safety cars have also developed continuously since 2000: every new Mercedes-AMG car delivers more power, responds even faster and gives its driver even more precise feedback. This is important, because in the safety car phase of a Formula One race, I have to be able to draw on up to 99 per cent of my car’s capabilities.”
“In the 1950s, the high-speed racing car transporter was a very unusual vehicle. It was designed specifically to carry the most successful racing cars of the time. It would be inconceivable today that the transporter travelled at speeds of up to 170 km/h back then: today’s trucks with the new Silver Arrows on board travel at 80 km/h.”
A famous vehicle from racing history, but not a racing car – that is all the Mercedes-Benz high-speed racing car transporter from 1955 had in common with the Formula One safety cars.