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Here's How Modern F1 Drivers Handle Classic Race Cars In The Rain

GIF via YouTube

The best things from the German Grand Prix were the oldest.

Mercedes put a few Formula One drivers in their classic Grand Prix cars, and watching them try to wrestle these beautiful old beasts into submission in the wet is the most wonderful thing you’ll watch all week.

Drivers of the modern Mercedes-powered Formula One machines—Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg, Force India driver Nico Hülkenberg and Manor Racing driver Pascal Wehrlein—all got a shot in magnificent old racing machines on the Hockenheimring.


Here we see a rare display of outright giddiness from the most stereotypically unemotional group of people on the planet: German F1 drivers. Rosberg in particular got to step into his hero Mika Häkkinen’s footsteps by taking the championship-winning 1998 McLaren MP4/13 for a spin.

Even in the rain, that McLaren’s growling V10 sounds amazing.

The two older cars had onboards as well to savor and enjoy.

Young driver Pascal Wehrlein probably doesn’t see too many manual transmissions in race cars anymore, so for him, coping with the 1954 Mercedes-Benz W 196 R’s old-fashioned shifter knob provided a significant challenge.

At least he got a windshield, though. Nico Hülkenberg’s ride was almost entirely out in the open.

Best of all is the onboard from the 1934 Mercedes-Benz W25. While Hülkenberg said he felt as if he was sitting outside with such an open cockpit and no seat belt, he had no qualms about getting the car a bit sideways once it was up to speed.


The car has a steering rack that would put your grandmother’s Sedan de Ville to shame, but it’s clear that the wettest driver of the three was also having the most fun.

Moderator, OppositeLock. Former Staff Writer, Jalopnik. 1984 "Porschelump" 944 race car, 1971 Volkswagen 411 race car, 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS.

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Daily Drives a Dragon

It’s a video about Mercedes but did I spy a Cayenne camera car in the W25 video?