A brand such as Mercedes is synonymous with class and quality. It is one of the most famous car brands in the world, up there with Ferrari and BMW. But until 2010, there was something missing from Mercedes for many decades – a lack of presence in Formula One.
The past eight years has seen the company correct that mistake and enhance its reputation in the process.
Mercedes and Formula One
Recent Formula One fans may assume Mercedes has a short history with the sport. But looking back to the 1930s and 1950s, the company did have a major presence in the sport. It was present in Grand Prix motor racing in the 1930s, as the “Silver Arrows.”
And it was a Mercedes that famous multi-champion Juan Manuel Fangio drove during the 1954 and 1955 seasons. He finished as champion on both those occasions. But a horrible accident in 1955, which resulted in the death of a Mercedes driver, caused the team to quit motor sport altogether.
Modern Entry into F1
It would be 55 years later until Mercedes finally made its long awaited return to the sport. Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes, purchased a 45% stake in the Brawn GP team. Eventually, the stake became a majority one and the team was rebranded as “Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport.”
How fitting that Mercedes managed to find two quality German race car drivers to take up the mantle of leading the team back into the sport. Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher were its drivers. Schumacher came back to the sport specifically to sign for Mercedes, while Rosberg would go on to win a World Championship with the team.
Period of Sustained Success
The transition to F1 was not easy for Mercedes. While the team was never a back marker, they were not fighting for top spot on the podium either. The team only managed 4th, 4th and 5th during its first three seasons back in the esport.
But things began to turnaround at the exact moment the team signed Lewis Hamilton from McLaren. Mercedes finished 2nd in the championship during the 2013 season, paving the way for the successes of the future.
The next FOUR constructor’s championships belonged to the Silver Arrows. Hamilton would win the driver’s title for the team on three of those occasions, while Nico Rosberg claimed one title for himself.
What Does the Future Hold?
There is no doubt that returning to Formula One made sense for Mercedes. It is a brand considered among the greatest in the car industry. And Formula One is the pinnacle of motor racing around the world.
The fact that Mercedes would go on to dominate the sport in the past five years is an added benefit.
One cannot predict how long Mercedes will remain in F1, as the sport is ever changing. But what is clear the team has made its mark on motor racing. It may have been a long way to see the Silver Arrows back in Formula One, but the wait was worthwhile for many Mercedes enthusiasts.