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Hamilton, Kovalainen test the Mercedes-Benz W196 30 Jun 2008

Heikki Kovalainen (FIN), Mercedes-Benz W196. Brooklands Double Twelve Festival, Brooklands, Weybridge, England. 28-29 June 2008. World © Sutton Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren, drives a historic Mercedes Benz W196 racing car. Brooklands Double Twelve Festival, Brooklands, Weybridge, England. 28-29 June 2008. World © Sutton Sir Stirling Moss (GBR), demonstrates a historic Mercedes-Benz W196 racing car. Brooklands Double Twelve Festival, Brooklands, Weybridge, England. 28-29 June 2008. World © Sutton

McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen got a chance to drive one of the most successful Formula One cars of the 1950s this weekend when they got behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz W196 at the UK’s historic Brooklands circuit.

Hamilton and Kovalainen were participating in the Brooklands ‘Double Twelve’ Motoring Festival, jointly organised by the Brooklands Museum and Mercedes-Benz World, the huge Mercedes-Benz facility that adjoins the Weybridge venue.

The W196 won nine races during the 1954 and 1955 Formula One seasons in the hands of Stirling Moss and Juan Manuel Fangio. Moss, who won the ’55 British Grand Prix in the car, was on hand to give a few pointers to the McLaren drivers, who also demonstrated last year’s McLaren MP4-22.

Other track action included a show by the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows Display Team and a series of driving tests performed by competitors in the Concours d'Elegance, who were then judged by a panel of experts on the appearance of their vehicles. And in the air a Blue Eagles helicopter display thrilled the crowds.

His appearance at Brooklands marked the end of a busy weekend for Hamilton, who on Saturday participated in the annual Round the Isle sailing race around the Isle of Wight off the UK’s south coast. Unfortunately, his first sailing event did not end well. Hamilton’s crew and their Hugo Boss craft were disqualified from an eventual eighth place following a collision with another boat.