Formula One drivers have the coolest jobs on the planet. They get to drive the fastest racecars of all time on the best racetracks in the world and they get paid for it. Added to that they are adored by millions and after hours they get to play with really cool road cars… provided they work for the right company. Lewis Hamilton obviously does as they British driver has no fewer than seven world titles and gets to drive the upcoming Mercedes-AMG Project One after work.
F1 for the road
For those who don’t know, the Mercedes-AMG Project One hypercar will feature a full F1 drivetrain. This is the first time that a road car will have the exact same power unit as used in a race- and championship-winning Formula One car. Not only is the powertrain derived from racing but the pushrod suspension and active aerodynamics also come from Formula 1 know-how.
A 1,6-litre turbocharged engine revs up to 11 000 r/min. The petrol engine is combined with four electric motors, two of which drive the front wheels to allow variable all-wheel drive. The hybrid power unit and an electrified front axle boasts a total system output of over 740 kW (1 000 hp). Mercedes says that it will have a top speed in excess of 350 km/h.
In their own words
“I can still hardly believe that there will soon be a hypercar with a Formula 1 engine. We won the world championship with this engine in 2015, and I was involved in its development for a long time. I was able to drive the Project One during the filmwork for the new campaign, and I’m very proud of the extraordinary effort Mercedes-AMG has invested in this project. This car is absolutely unique,” said Lewis Hamilton.
“Developing the Project One was a very great challenge which we addressed as a team, and now we are firing the next stage for roadgoing approval: This car will strengthen our position as a high-performance luxury brand. Moreover, the Project One will emphasise the proximity between Formula 1 and Mercedes‑AMG more than ever: we have the same motorsport genes, and believe in a direct technology transfer. The special disguise of the Project One also gives an initial outlook on our electrically powered future, which begins in 2021. The colour red will play a central role for our new technology label E PERFORMANCE,” says Philipp Schiemer, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.