F1 Fanatic guest writer Kevin Parrott headed to Mercedes-Benz World at Brooklands to check out their collection of F1 and other classic cars.
Have a look at his pictures from the museum below including a fascinating, life-size model of an ‘exploded’ Formula 1 car.
‘Mercedes World’ was built in 2006 inside the ring of the famous Brooklands track, the first purpose-built racing circuit in the world.
It’s a car showroom with the added benefit of having an off-road course, for four-wheel-drive experiences, handling track with and skid pan, on-site hotel, cafe, shop, museum and occasional rock concert venue.
The first thing I notice is an immaculate convertible Mercedes 190 SL from 1955. A close relative of one of my favourite cars of all time – the famous 300 SL – they share many beautiful lines.
Moving on further, the next thing to catch my eye is another familiar sight even closer to my heart. The 2008 to 2009 Formula One safety car. Branded, flashing lights and all.
I start at the top and work my way down. At the top floor I am greeted by a 300SL, one of the most beautiful cars to turn a wheel, which briefly distracts me from my task of finding F1 machinery.
Hakkinen and Hamilton’s cars
Winding down the curved staircase I am so glad to be met by ‘an old friend’: the McLaren MP4-14 of Mika Hakkinen.
This 1999 car was from right about when I really started to love Formula One so, an important car for me. It was the car which Hakkinen used to defend his 1998 title against rivals Ferrari.
Suspended above is a 2006-spec F1 engine 2.4L V8. Up close you can really appreciate just how intricate it is!
Near to it is one of the cars that was powered by a Mercedes V8 – Lewis Hamilton‘s 2007 MP4-22.
This car was fielded by McLaren on the tenth anniversary of their partnership with Mercedes and took Hamilton to within a single point of winning the title at his first attempt.
Amusingly, the official FIA barcode sticker on the tyre of Hamilton’s car reads: ‘Not for highway use’ (see picture below). Some things are so obvious they just shouldn’t need stating!
Other F1 cars sit alongside the McLarens. A 2009-spec Force India VJM02 – the first of their cars to use Mercedes power.
There’s another car painted in the 2010 Petronas Mercedes F1 team livery but it’s made up of bodywork I do not recognise.
‘Exploded F1 car’
But the most impressive sight is still to come – a Formula 1 car caught in what seems to be mid-explosion! Thousands upon thousands of individual F1 components are suspended from the ceiling on wires. The components form the shape of a life-size exploded diagram like something out of a Haynes manual.
The piece is actually an art installation by Dutch artist Paul Veroude called ‘View Suspended II’. It consists of over 3,200 real individual F1 components.
To see with your own eyes is certainly impressive – not just to understand how all of this intricate detail fits together to form a Formula One car but the sheer logistics of making and assembling the artwork you are looking at boggles the mind.
From tiny screws, gear ratios, clutch plates, and exhaust manifolds, right up to large bodywork pieces, it’s all there in glorious 3D.
Aside from the F1 cars, there are some beautiful examples of old Mercedes there, including a replica of ‘the worlds first automobile’ from 1886 contrasted against the very latest in luxury super cars.
As I head out I could hear the deep roar of a powerful engine splitting the air.
A fresh batch of lucky power sliders were on the skid pan. Fighting with the wheel of an SLS looks like a lot of fun. I must go back soon and try it out!
Kevin’s pictures from Mercedes World
This is a guest article by Kevin Parrott. If you want to write a guest article for F1 Fanatic you can find all the information you need here.
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Image © Kevin Parrott