The function of the safety car at motorsport events is to intervene in the race in the event of dangerous situations – for example after an accident or in particularly adverse weather conditions - and thus to ensure the safety of all those involved. It was first used in Formula 1 in 1973 and is therefore celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. It has been officially in use at every race since 1993. Bernd Mayländer has been the official FIA F1 safety car driver since 2000; initially in parallel with his own career as a touring car racer. In the DTM alone, he has made more than 80 starts.
“For us racing drivers, the issue of safety ranks very high, despite all our willingness to take risks. The safety car stands for this, and I am proud that I have been involved here for 25 years”, says Bernd Mayländer. “Safety is also DEKRA's top priority and has been for almost 100 years. These are the values that unite us and that is why I am very pleased about our new partnership. So, starting next year, I want to be very involved in making DEKRA and its commitment to safety even better known.”
The new agreement will initially run for three years until the end of 2026. “We are delighted to now become the official partner of Bernd Mayländer, a true motorsport legend” said Guido Kutschera, Executive Vice President of the DEKRA Group and responsible for business in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. “He embodies the topic of safety in Formula 1, just as the DEKRA brand stands for safety in traffic, at work and at home. So, the two partners are simply a perfect match. We are convinced that we will be able to advance the topic of safety even further together in the coming years.”
Bernd Mayländer, born in Waiblingen in 1971 and raised in the Daimler town of Schorndorf near Stuttgart, started out in karting in the late 1980s and then progressed via Formula Ford to the Porsche Carrera Cup. There he became the youngest overall winner in 1994; a year later he entered the DTM. Mayländer then drove FIA GT sports car races as well as the famous 24-hour races at Le Mans and the Nürburgring, where he won in 2000 together with Uwe Alzen, Michael Bartels and Altfrid Heger. In the early 2000s, Mayländer competed again in the DTM, already in parallel with his role as an FIA F1 safety car driver in Formula 1. In 2019, he set a new record in terms of the number of Grand Prix races he has been a part of, which he has since extended. Mayländer is still rooted in his home in the Rems Valley, where he also entered the wine-growing business in 2021.