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Mercedes can trace its motor racing involvement back to the pioneering days of the original Grands Prix at the start of the 20th century. In the years leading up to World War Two the German government pumped money into Mercedes and rivals Auto Union to build the most technically advanced racing machines the world had seen.
After the war it wasn’t until the mid-fifties that German teams were allowed to compete again. When Mercedes returned it picked up where it had left off. Juan Manuel Fangio moved to the team from Maserati part way through 1954 and won the world title.
Fangio won a second title when joined by Stirling Moss in 1955. But the team’s sports car effort was withdrawn from the Le Mans 24 Hours that year after one of its drivers, Pierre Levegh, crashed into the crowd. Levegh and over 80 spectators were killed. Mercedes withdrew from all motor racing competition and did not return until the 1980s.
It wasn’t until 1993 that the Mercedes name was seen again in F1, as an engine supplier to Sauber. It switched teams to McLaren and won championships with them in 1998, 1999 and 2008.
A last-minute deal to supply the Brawn team with engines in 2009 led to wins in both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships. It also paved the way for Mercedes to return to the sport as a full constructor in 2010 after it took over the team.
The team enticed Michael Schumacher back from retirement to drive for them but it was Nico Rosberg who scored their first comeback win in China in 2012.
Lewis Hamilton replaced Schumacher for the 2013 season, and the following year the wisdom of that move became clear. Mercedes prepared perfectly for F1’s new era of V6 hybrid turbo engines. In a 19-race campaign the team dominated the championship, taking 18 pole positions and 16 wins. Of those, 11 were scored by Hamilton, who also won his second drivers’ title.
Complete list of Mercedes F1 drivers
Mercedes Formula One Team,
Major team personnel
Executive director (technical): Paddy Lowe
Executive director (business): Toto Wolff
Non-executive chairman: Niki Lauda
Managing director of Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains: Andy Cowell
Technical director: Bob Bell
Engineering director: Aldo Costa
Technology director: Geoff Willis
Sporting director: Ron Meadows
Performance director: Mark Ellis
Chief engineer, simulation and development: Giles Wood
Chief mechanic: Matthew Deane
Chief race engineer: Andrew Shovlin
Chief track engineer: Simon Cole
Race engineer (Lewis Hamilton): Peter Bonnington
Race engineer (Nico Rosberg): Tony Ross
Performance engineer (Lewis Hamilton):
Performance engineer (Nico Rosberg): Riccardo Musconi
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2014 F1 season
- Drivers act like “squares” to please corporate F1 – Hamilton
- Second-placed driver gets second-best strategy – Hamilton
- Wolff dismisses talk of Hamilton-Rosberg rift as “hot air”
- Mercedes secure second constructors’ title
- Did FOM give Mercedes its ‘invisible treatment’ in Japan?