On Sunday 19 May 2013 before the start of the 24-hour race around the Nürburgring, seven-time Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher will take to the track. Schumacher will post a demonstration lap on the Nürburgring’s legendary Nordschleife in a Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W02.
The purpose of his foray onto one of the most famous race tracks in motorpsort history is to say ‘thank you’ to his fans for their years of loyal support during his F1 career. This will be the first time since Juan Manuel Fangio’s victory on 1st August 1954 that a modern Formula 1 Silver Arrow has driven on the 20.8 km Nordschleife at the Nürburgring.
Schumacher covered part of the Nordschleife in the last Formula 1 grand prix at the Nürburgring in July 2011, however, that was in a Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow Stromlinie W196. The W196 was the first Formula 1 Silver Arrow that took Mercedes-Benz to two world titles with Juan Manuel Fangio in the 1954 and 1955 seasons. During this period, including his success at the Nürburgring, Fangio achieved eight wins in all.
Long before the start of the Formula 1 world championship in 1950, however, there has been a close connection between Mercedes-Benz and the Nürburgring; an icon was born on 3rd June 1934 when the Silver Arrow had its first outing on the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife in the International Eifel Race.
The car was silver because mechanics had worked through the night to strip away the white paint of the brand new Mercedes-Benz W25 racing car, so as not to exceed the maximum permissible weight. The next day, Manfred von Brauchitsch won the W25’s debut race, beginning the legend of the Silver Arrow.
Michael Schumacher brought his F1 career to a close last year at Mercedes AMG Petronas . In April this year, Schumacher and Mercedes-Benz announced a long-term partnership that goes far beyond motor racing and Formula 1. The record-breaking champion will represent the brand as an ambassador and provide back-up for issues relating to future developments.
Intelligence Drive – the safety and convenience system introduced by Mercedes-Benz – is part of his brief.
Schumacher said, “I have a lot of fond memories of the Nürburgring and am really looking forward to giving fans and friends from my home town of Kerpen, which is quite close to the Nürburgring, something to remember as they see me drive by. But it will be a fantastic experience for me too, driving along the Nordschleife in a state-of–the-art Formula 1 Silver Arrow, particularly in view of the fact that the Silver Arrow’s legend began here. Posting a lap in a modern Silver Arrow on the most beautiful and most testing circuit in the world, what a brilliant mix – it’s every motor racing driver’s dream!”