The star manufacturer is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its victory in the World Sport Prototype Championship with the Mercedes C 11 this year.
The heir to the C 9 with which the star manufacturer won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1989, was like its predecessor assembled in Hinwil, Switzerland (in the premises of the Sauber team), under the leadership of the manager. of the design Leo Ress. The C 11 was the first model of the brand with the star to have a carbon fiber chassis, which contributed in addition to its excellent rigidity, to keep the vehicle at the authorized weight limit (870 kg).
Under its body covered with the famous silver livery (reintroduced in 1989 under the leadership of Werner Niefer), the C 11 housed the V8 Turbo M 119 unit optimized by the team of engineers of Dr Hermann Hiereth, a motor developing 730 hp in race configuration and up to 924 hp in qualifying mode.
During this 1990 season, the two Mercedes C 11 prototypes won eight of the nine races on the calendar and the duo formed by Jean-Louis Schlesser and Mauro Baldi, won the drivers' title while Sauber-Mercedes retained their title acquired the year. former.
Jochen Mass, who finished second in the 1989 season, completed this new season at this same position, after sharing the wheel of his car with three promising young drivers throughout the season: Karl Wendlinger, Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Michael Schumacher (the first three of the 1989 F3 championship).
From their first test at Le Castellet, the three young recruits were at ease and Peter Sauber summed up their performance of the day as follows:
“Frentzen was the fastest, Schumacher was barely slower and drove steadily, while showing great interest in the technical aspect. Wendlinger, for his part, was the most cautious, he absolutely insisted on not breaking anything ”.
Wendlinger and Schumacher each won a tandem race with Jochen Mass, during this 1990 season. The rest of their respective careers is now well known. Wendlinger made his debut in F1 in 1993 at Sauber, Frentzen won three Formula 1 Grands Prix and was crowned runner-up in 1997 (behind Jacques Villeneuve), while Michael Schumacher would become the "Red Baron" and accumulate no less than seven driver titles in Formula 1.
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