Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team
Making their debut at the Nurburgring in 1934 with the W25 car, the Mercedes team not only took victory but also began the legend of the Silver Arrows. Mercedes had already decided that their new car would have a silver chassis but, so the story goes, they stripped the white paint from the car to save weight, leaving the bare metal which, of course, looked silver. Mercedes only competed in eight of the thirteen Grands Prix in 1934, though their strength was already becoming clear as they won three of the last five races. This form carried through into 1935 when the Mercedes team won nine races and also took a podium place from the eleven races in which they competed. Such dominance earned their driver, Rudolf Caracciola, the European Championship that year, a feat he also achieved in 1937 and 1938.
It wasn’t until 1954 that Mercedes would return to international Grand Prix racing, with the W196R and drivers Karl Kling and Juan Manuel Fangio. Making their debut at the second European race of the season, the French Grand Prix, the Mercedes team came home first and second. Fangio went on to win the driver’s championship with Mercedes that year, having started the season with Maserati. The following year saw Fangio again take the drivers title, and Mercedes win the constructors championship. The team had already decided, however, that this would be their last year in racing, with the company feeling their efforts would be better employed in the production of standard road cars.
The world of Formula 1 had to wait until 2010 to see the Mercedes team return to the grid, with drivers Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg embracing the opportunity to reintroduce the Silver Arrows to a new generation of racing afficionados. In 2013 Lewis Hamilton signed for the Mercedes Formula 1 team, replacing Schumacher who took the decision to retire. A combination of ongoing development and the introduction of Lewis Hamilton can arguably be credited with moving the Mercedes team upwards in the standings, with the team taking the constructors title a year later and Hamilton winning the driver’s championship, the second of his career. Mercedes were unstoppable after their ascension to the pinnacle of the sport, winning the manufacturers title every year and Hamilton taking the drivers titles too, apart from in 2016, when fellow Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg claimed the top spot and, most recently in 2021, when Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen took the title in quite controversial circumstances.