Marciello happy with “really good year” after last title – Sportscar365

Marciello happy with "really good year" after last title - Sportscar365

Photo: Gruppe C Photography

Raffaele Marciello has described his 2022 season with Mercedes-AMG as a “very good year” so far after winning overall silverware that eluded him in recent campaigns.

The 27-year-old, who races under the Swiss flag, took the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup title together with Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella and won the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa together with Akkodis ASP.

Despite finishing second in the Sprint Cup standings with Timur Boguslavskiy, Marciello scored enough points over two series to be crowned GTWC Europe Combined Champion for the second time.

Last weekend he added the ADAC GT Masters title after sharing the Mann-Filter Team Landgraf Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo with four different co-drivers throughout the season.

Prior to this year, Marciello’s final championship honors came during his first season as a Mercedes-AMG factory driver in 2018, when he won and combined the GTWC Europe Sprint Cup.

“I feel like I’ve always been at a good level for the last two or three years and always been at the front,” he told Sportscar365.

“But to win, there are many other things behind it. It’s not always about who has the fastest car.

“Of course it’s annoying when you’re fast and see other brands win. At AMG we knew we were having a bit of a hard time winning the big races.

“Every year we worked pretty well and this year we won a lot of races that AMG had never won before. This was certainly a very good year for me, and also for AMG, in GT3.”

Marciello was also part of the winning lineups at the Kyalami 9 Hour and Indianapolis 8 Hour, helping Mercedes-AMG secure the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by the Pirelli manufacturer’s crown with one lap remaining.

When asked why the German brand managed to have a remarkably decorated year, Marciello suggested: “We worked together a little better than in years past.

“The whole factory” [supported] teams played the Balance of Performance game slightly better.

“It’s the first year that I’ve seen the different teams really work together better. I think this was very important.

“I’ve also been lucky enough to have really good teammates like Dani and Jules. There are a lot of fast drivers in GT racing who also deserve credit because it’s about teamwork.”

The Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo also proved to work well on the new Pirelli P Zero DHF tire introduced in SRO run championships and GT Masters.

“We saw how many punctures the other brands had and how well we did on tyres,” Marciello said.

“It was certainly another important point. We know that AMG is one of the best cars in tire management. That’s how it was in the past and that’s how it still is.

“It was nice for us that we could compete better on tires because we weren’t much faster on speed.”

Despite his achievements attracting the attention of other manufacturers, Marciello has opted to stay with Mercedes-AMG for another season.

He expects to have a similar schedule, racing full-time in various endurance and sprint championships and representing Mercedes-AMG in major endurance races.

“It’s not a big world, so there are other brands that have approached me,” said Marciello.

“I am committed to next year at AMG. And then next year we will see to win the Nürburgring, Bathurst and Daytona if we can.

“I feel good here. I don’t see myself in a better position, in a GT3 car. I have everything I want in AMG, for GT3.

“I’m always fast and I have good teammates, so I don’t see why I should switch at AMG.”

Marciello considers prototypes “really interesting”

While Marciello has become an established name in GT3 racing, he is open to pursuing LMH and LMDh prototype powertrains in the future, even if Mercedes-AMG is not active in that arena.

“The new Hypercar/LMDh era is really interesting,” he said.

“With the many brands, a lot of drivers are going, but for now I’m focusing on next year because I will still be [with Mercedes-AMG].

“You never know what life will bring, but if I do the same races this year, I’ll be in 26 or 27 race weekends, which is a lot to focus on and win.”

Marciello acknowledged that it would be “impossible” for him to dive into LMP2 prototypes next year based on his expected busy schedule with Mercedes-AMG.

“I could drop some GT3 races, but I don’t want to,” he said.

“Next year I want to do everything; it will be like this year. I’m not a magician, so I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’m happy now.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA ​​World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among others.