Mercedes-Benz in Formula One
|Full name||Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team|
|Base||Brackley, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom|
|Executive Directors||Toto Wolff (Business)
Paddy Lowe (Technical)
|Previous name||Brawn GP|
|2015 Formula One season|
|Race drivers||6. Nico Rosberg
44. Lewis Hamilton
|Test drivers||Pascal Wehrlein|
|Chassis||F1 W06 Hybrid|
|Engine||Mercedes PU106B Hybrid|
|Formula One World Championship career|
|Debut||1954 French Grand Prix|
|Latest race||2015 Monaco Grand Prix|
|3 (1954, 1955, 2014)|
|2014 position||1st (701 pts)|
Mercedes-Benz is currently involved in Formula One, running the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team, a Formula One racing team, based in Brackley, United Kingdom, using a German licence. Mercedes-Benz had competed in the pre-war European Championship winning three titles, and debuted in Formula One in 1954, running a team for two years.
After winning their first race at the 1954 French Grand Prix, driver Juan Manuel Fangio won another three grands prix to win the 1954 drivers championship, and repeated this success in 1955 when he won the second title for Mercedes-Benz. Despite winning two championships, Mercedes-Benz withdrew from motor racing in response to the 1955 Le Mans disaster, and did not return to Formula 1 until rejoining as an engine supplier in association with Ilmor in 1994.
Mercedes-Benz returned as an engine supplier in 1994 in a partnership with Ilmor, now called Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains. It supplied Sauber for one season, then switched to McLaren in 1995. In 2009 they also became suppliers of Brawn GP and Force India. Mercedes-Benz returned with a factory team in 2010 after the purchase of Brawn. A fourth team was added to the supplying program in 2014, Williams. For the 2015 season, the 20-year long partnership with McLaren ended. Instead, Mercedes supplied engines to the Lotus F1 team.
The manufacturer has collected more than 100 wins as engine supplier, and is ranked fourth in Formula One history. Two constructors and four drivers championships have been won with Mercedes-Benz engines.
Silver Arrows (1930s)
Mercedes-Benz formerly competed in Grand Prix motor racing in the 1930s, when the Silver Arrows dominated the races alongside rivals Auto Union. Both teams were heavily funded by the Nazi regime, winning all European Grand Prix Championships after 1932, of which Rudolf Caracciola won three for Mercedes-Benz.
Daimler-Benz AG (1954–1955)
In 1954, Mercedes-Benz returned to what was now known as Formula One (a World Championship having been established in 1950), using the technologically advanced Mercedes-Benz W196. The car was run in both the conventional open-wheeled configuration and a streamlined form, which featured covered wheels and wider bodywork. Juan Manuel Fangio, the 1951 champion, transferred mid-season from Maserati to Mercedes-Benz for their debut at the French Grand Prix on 4 July 1954. The team had immediate success and recorded a 1–2 victory with Fangio and Karl Kling, as well as the fastest lap (Hans Herrmann). Fangio went on to win three more races in 1954, winning the championship.
The success continued into the 1955 season, with Mercedes-Benz developing the W196 throughout the year. Mercedes-Benz again dominated the season, with Fangio taking four races, and his new team mate Stirling Moss winning the British Grand Prix. Fangio and Moss finished first and second in that year's championship. The 1955 disaster at the 24 Hours of Le Mans on 11 June, which killed Mercedes-Benz sportscar driver Pierre Levegh and more than 80 spectators led to the cancellations of the French, German, Spanish, and Swiss Grands Prix. At the end of the season, the team withdrew from motor sport, including Formula One.
Mercedes GP/Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team (2010–present)
Mercedes-Benz returned to Formula One for the 2010 season after buying a minority stake (45.1%) in the Brawn GP team with Aabar Investments purchasing 30% on 16 November 2009, with Ross Brawn continuing his duties as team principal and the team retaining its base and workforce in Brackley, close to the Mercedes-Benz Formula One engine plant (formerly Ilmor Engineering) in Brixworth. Following the purchase of the team, as well as a sponsorship deal with Petronas, the team was rebranded as Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team. The team has a complex history; it can be traced back to Tyrrell Racing, who competed as a constructor from 1970 until 1998, until being bought by British American Tobacco to become British American Racing in 1999. BAR, who had formed a partnership with Honda, eventually became Honda Racing F1 Team in 2006 when BAT withdrew from the sport. It again changed hands in 2008, when Honda withdrew, and was purchased by the team's management, naming it Brawn GP after team principal Ross Brawn. Brawn used engines from Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines, and despite running on a low budget, Jenson Button won six of the first seven races and ultimately, the 2009 World Championship while Brawn won the constructors title. It was the first time in the sport's sixty-year history that a team won both titles in its maiden season.
The team hired German drivers Nico Rosberg, seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher, who returned to Formula One after a three-year absence, and Nick Heidfeld as the test and reserve driver. Of Brawn's 2009 drivers, Jenson Button signed for McLaren, whilst Rubens Barrichello moved to Rosberg's former seat with Williams team for 2010. With the acquisition of Brawn, the team ended its involvement with McLaren, parent company Daimler AG sold back the 40% shareholding in the McLaren Group, while continuing to supply engines to the team.
The team's performance during 2010 was not so competitive as under Brawn, with the team behind the leading three teams of Ferrari, McLaren, and Red Bull. Their best results came from Rosberg finishing on the podium three times, scoring third places at Sepang, Shanghai, and Silverstone. Rosberg eventually finished in seventh place, but Schumacher had a disappointing return, being beaten by his teammate and finishing the season without a single race win, podium, pole position, or fastest lap for the first time since his début season in 1991. He also was involved in a controversy in Hungary after nearly squeezing former Ferrari team-mate Rubens Barrichello into the wall at 180 mph (290 km/h). Ultimately, the team finished fourth in the Constructors' Championship, with 214 points.
Prior to the 2011 season, Daimler and Aabar purchased the remaining 24.9% stake owned by the team management in February 2011. Using the new MGP W02, the Australian Grand Prix ended when Schumacher and Rosberg both retired due to crash damage on laps 19 and 22 respectively. In Malaysia, Rosberg qualified ninth and Schumacher again failed to make Q3, qualifying eleventh. Schumacher scored the team's first points of the season with a ninth-place finish, whereas Rosberg had a quiet race and finished twelfth. In China, Rosberg and Schumacher showed strong form, with Rosberg finishing fifth as well as leading fourteen laps during the race, while Schumacher ended the race in eighth place. Rosberg added another fifth place in Turkey, while in Spain, Schumacher finished in sixth place, ahead of Rosberg.
After a pointless Monaco Grand Prix, Schumacher equalled his best finish for the team in Canada, finishing fourth after running as high as second. In Valencia, Rosberg finished seventh, and Schumacher seventeenth, after contact with Vitaly Petrov. Rosberg and Schumacher both finished in the points at the following two races in Great Britain and Germany. Gearbox issues stopped Schumacher from scoring at the Hungarian Grand Prix, but Rosberg managed to finish in ninth place. At the Belgian Grand Prix, Schumacher moved from the back of the grid – after losing a wheel in qualifying – to finish fifth, while Rosberg finished sixth, having led the race in its early stages. Again, the team finished fourth in the Constructors Championship just as in 2010, with 165 points with no wins, podiums, or poles.
For 2012, the team removed the GP from their name and added the name of AMG, the high performance division of Mercedes-Benz, to their title. The team will be known as Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team. At the start of the season the team was the subject of protest over the use of a "radical" rear wing concept on the Mercedes F1 W03, which was not settled until the third race in China when the stewards unanimously rejected the protest.
At the third race of the season in China, Rosberg took the team's first pole position as a works team since Fangio in 1955; Schumacher finished the session third, but moved up to second after a grid penalty for Lewis Hamilton. The team secured its first win in 57 years when Nico Rosberg finished first in the 2012 Chinese Grand Prix. In addition to that, Rosberg became the first German driver to win a Grand Prix driving a German vehicle since Hermann Lang's victory at the 1939 Swiss Grand Prix.
On 28 September 2012, it was announced that McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton would join the team from the 2013 season onwards, having signed a three-year deal to partner Nico Rosberg in the team. On 26 May 2013 Nico Rosberg capitalised on a pole position to award the team its first win of 2013 at the Monaco Grand Prix. Mercedes then went on to take third place in the Canadian Grand Prix courtesy of Hamilton, followed by another win for Rosberg at the British Grand Prix after the team took 1–2 in qualifying. The team then celebrated their third win of the season after Hamilton took his first victory for the team at the Hungarian Grand Prix, resulting in second place ahead of Ferrari in the constructors championship.
Both drivers were retained for 2014. Rosberg won the first race of the season in Australia, then in Malaysia, Hamilton completed a grand chelem –leading every lap from pole position, with the fastest race lap –while Rosberg completed a 1–2 finish for the team; it ended Hamilton's nine race streak without a podium finish, and was the first 1–2 finish by Mercedes-Benz as a works team since the 1955 Italian Grand Prix. The team repeated the result at the Bahrain, the Chinese, and the Spanish Grands Prix, while Rosberg and Hamilton finished 1–2 respectively at the Monaco and Austrian Grands Prix. At the German Grand Prix, Rosberg became the first German driver driving a German vehicle to win the German Grand Prix since it was achieved by Rudolf Caracciola and Mercedes-Benz at the 1939 German Grand Prix. At the Russian Grand Prix the team won their first Constructors Championship as a works team. Hamilton won the last race of the season, held in Abu Dhabi. He finished the season 67 points ahead of Rosberg, clinching the World Drivers' Championship. The team finished the 2014 season 296 points ahead of their closest rival Red Bull Racing in the Constructors' World Championship standings.
In December 2009, the team suffered an early setback when it was discovered that a planned £80m sponsorship arrangement that had been signed by Brawn with Henkel in July was invalid. Henkel claimed they were unaware of the deal and had no interest in Formula One; the deal allegedly was made by a former Henkel employee on stolen company stationery for the purposes of defrauding the company. On 22 December, Henkel announced that the dispute with the team had been resolved with a mutual agreement and that legal action would not be pursued, although the team would work with the German prosecutor's office to clarify the matter.
On 21 December, the team confirmed that Malaysian oil supplier Petronas would join the team as title sponsor. From 2010 the team will compete under the full title of Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team. According to some reports, the arrangement is valued at €30m each year.
On 25 January 2010, the team's livery was unveiled publicly at the Mercedes-Benz museum in Stuttgart, with Schumacher and Rosberg in attendance. The car races in the traditional silver colours of Mercedes-Benz and retains Brawn GP sponsor MIGfx.
As of 2014, Mercedes AMG Petronas still operates with these sponsors –albeit with a few more –and are one of the most competitive teams in Formula One at the moment, with a driver pairing consisting of Lewis Hamilton (who moved from McLaren for the 2013 season after Schumacher's retirement) and Nico Rosberg.
(Bold indicates championships won.)
|1954||Daimler-Benz AG||W196||M196 2.5 L8||C||N/A[N 1]|| Juan Manuel Fangio
|1955||Daimler-Benz AG||W196||M196 2.5 L8||C||N/A[N 1]|| Juan Manuel Fangio
|1956 – 2009: Mercedes-Benz did not compete.|
|2010||Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team||MGP W01||FO 108X 2.4 V8||B||3.
| Michael Schumacher
|2011||Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team||MGP W02||FO 108Y 2.4 V8||P||7.
| Michael Schumacher
|2012||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team||F1 W03||FO 108Z 2.4 V8||P||7.
| Michael Schumacher
|2013||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team||F1 W04||FO 108F 2.4 V8||P||9.
| Nico Rosberg
|2014||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team||F1 W05 Hybrid||PU106A Hybrid 1.6 V6 t||P||6.
| Nico Rosberg
|2015||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team||F1 W06 Hybrid||PU106B Hybrid 1.6 V6 t||P||6.
| Nico Rosberg
* — Season in progress.
- Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains, manufacturer of Mercedes-Benz's Formula One engines.
- Mercedes-Benz in motorsport, Daimler AG has entered Mercedes-Benz into other forms of motorsport.
- Individual driver numbers were not allocated at the time, as numbers differed by event.
- The Constructors' Championship was not awarded until the 1958 season.
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