Ahead of the German Grand Prix earlier in the month, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg drove two historic Grand Prix cars around the old Nordschleife. The current Mercedes F1 drivers got a taste of what Grand Prix racing was like in its infancy when they did a parade lap in two storied Silver Arrow racing cars. Lewis is in a 1938 Mercedes W154 originally manned by Rudof Caracciola, the driver for whom the Green Hell’s iconic “Karussell” turn was named., and Rosberg is in a W196 from the 1950s, the W196 is the same kind of car that recently fetched a record as the most expensive race car ever sold at auction when it sold for close to $30 million at auction.
Mercedes were clever enough to attach a camera to Lewis Hamilton’s helmet as he made his way around on and as you can read in the transcript below he shares his full experience over the team radio!
0:32 (Lewis) A little bit
01:00 (Nico) It is an amazing feeling to drive on this historic track with these race cars. It is so, so cool to drive these cars, it feels like go karts.
01:12 (Lewis) So, great power hey Nico?
01:14 (Nico) Yeah there is really quite good power!
01:16 (Lewis) They didn’t even have barriers when they were racing (laughs) They just had trees
01:22 (Nico) Yeah for sure there are no barriers and trees all over the place! Can you imagine that, in the pouring down rain, flat out in these cars, no barriers… Unreal!
01:34 (Lewis) They must have been smoking something!
01:37 (Nico) Really great experience…
01:38 (Lewis) What side is your brake on man?
01:40 (Nico) What’s wrong with my brakes?
01:42 (Lewis) My brake is on the right side so it is so easy to forget it is there!
01:49 (Nico) It is such a strange driving position, I’m completely spread-eagled here with the clutch all the way on the left, it’s so strange
01:57 (Lewis) Mine doesn’t want to change gear!
02:01 (Nico) No no you just stay in 2nd gear all the time alright?
02:05 (Lewis) Yeah it’s like, it starts cracking big time if I try to change gear.
02:11 (nico) Ok are you ready?! We’re going to race now for the next 5 corners OK? The last over there… sucks! 3…2…1…. GO!
02:32 (Lewis) Yeah it’s incredible… Great power, it doesn’t feel too bad, it feels unsafe because I have no seatbelts but otherwise yeah it feels fantastic to drive on this historic circuit, it is a dream for any driver.
03:05 (Nico) Woah amazing!!!
03:31 (Lewis) You guys need to speed up man
03:40 (Lewis) Pretty well! Obviously not as good as my current car but it is pretty cool still!
03:48 (Nico) Yeah it is really pretty fascinating…
03:53 (Nico) OK, let’s check whose car has got more top speed!
04:30 (Lewis) Hey man! The gearbox is terrible!
04:34 (Nico) Yeah?
04:39 (Lewis) Yeah! I can never get it in gears! (makes noises)
04:45 (Nico) But unreal no?
04:47 (Lewis) Yeah… Yours looks safer than mine!
04:51 (Nico) Looks what?
04:52 (Lewis) Yours is safer than my one
04:55 (Nico) Not by much!
04:55 (Lewis) You have this (shows the side of the car) up here
04:56 (Nico) Not by much!!
04:58 (Lewis) I was going like this around the corners… But they were literally like this around some of the corners!