Raffaele Marciello has described his 2022 season with Mercedes-AMG as a “really good year” so far after winning overall silverware that eluded him during recent campaigns.
The 27-year-old, who races under the Swiss flag, sealed the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup title alongside Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella, winning the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa along the way with Akkodis ASP.
Despite finishing second in the Sprint Cup standings with Timur Boguslavskiy, Marciello scored enough points over two series to be crowned combined GTWC Europe 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 over the season.
Prior to this year, Marciello’s last championship accolades came during his first season as a Mercedes-AMG factory driver in 2018 when he won GTWC Europe Sprint Cup and combined.
“I feel like the last two or three years I have always been at a good level, and I was always in front,” he told Sportscar365.
“But to win, there are a lot of other things behind it. It’s not always about who has the fastest car.
“For sure, it’s annoying when you are quick and you see other brands winning. We knew, at AMG, that we struggled a bit to win the big races.
“Every year we worked quite well and this year we won many races that AMG had never won. For sure this was a really good year for me, and also AMG, in GT3.”
Marciello also formed part of the winning lineups at the Kyalami 9 Hour and Indianapolis 8 Hour, contributing to Mercedes-AMG securing the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli manufacturers’ crown with a round to spare.
When asked why the German brand managed to have a notably decorated year, Marciello suggested: “We worked a bit better together than in the past years.
“All the factory [supported] teams played the Balance of Performance game a bit better.
“It’s the first year that I really saw the different teams working better together. I think this was quite important.
“I have also been lucky to have really good teammates like Dani and Jules. There are many fast drivers in GT racing that also deserve their credit, because it’s about teamwork.”
The Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo also appeared to work well on the new Pirelli P Zero DHF tire that was introduced to SRO-run championships and GT Masters.
“We saw how many punctures the other brands had, and how well we did on tires,” Marciello reflected.
“For sure it was another key point. We know that AMG is one of the best cars in tire management. It was like that in the past and is still the case today.
“It was nice for us that we were able to be better competitive on tires, because on speed we were not much quicker.”
Despite his performances garnering 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 different 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,” Marciello said.
“I am committed for next year with AMG. And then we will see next year to win 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 aways quick and have good teammates, so I don’t see why I should change from AMG.”
Marciello Views Prototypes as “Really Interesting”
While Marciello has become an established figure in GT3 racing, he is open to pursuing LMH and LMDh prototype drives 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, many drivers are going there, but for now I focus on next year because I will still be [with Mercedes-AMG].
“You never know what life brings, but if I do the same races this year, I will be on 26 or 27 race weekends, which is a lot to focus on and win.”
Marciello acknowledged that it would be “impossible” for him to dip into LMP2 prototypes next year based on his anticipated busy schedule with Mercedes-AMG.
“I could drop some of the 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 will happen, but I’m happy now.”