Mercedes-Benz in Formula One
|Full name||Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team
Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team (2010–2011)
|Base||Brackley, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom|
|Executive Directors||Toto Wolff (Business)
Paddy Lowe (Technical)
|Technical director||Bob Bell|
|Previous name||Brawn GP Formula One Team|
|2014 Formula One season|
|Race drivers||6. Nico Rosberg
44. Lewis Hamilton
|Test drivers||Sam Bird|
|Engine||Mercedes-Benz PU106A Hybrid |
|Formula One World Championship career|
|Debut||1954 French Grand Prix|
|Latest race||2013 Brazilian Grand Prix|
|2 (1954, 1955)|
|2013 position||2nd (360 pts)|
Mercedes-Benz are currently involved in Formula One, running the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One 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. Mercedes-Benz returned as an engine supplier in 1994, and two constructors and four drivers championships have been won with Mercedes-Benz engines. The current team has been competing since 2010 after the purchase of Brawn GP. Mercedes have won two drivers' championships and thirteen races as a constructor in Formula One.
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 Mercedes' second title. Despite winning two championships Mercedes-Benz withdrew from motor racing as a response to the 1955 Le Mans disaster, and did not return until rejoining as an engine supplier in association with Ilmor. The return of Mercedes-Benz as a constructor has been with limited success, having achieved only four wins, three by Nico Rosberg and one by Lewis Hamilton in the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains supply McLaren, Williams and Force India with engines.
Silver Arrows (1930s)
Mercedes-Benz formerly competed in Grand Prix motor racing in the 1930s, when the Silver Arrows dominated 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 developing the W196 throughout the year. Mercedes 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 disaster at the 24 Hours of Le Mans on 11 June which killed Mercedes sportscar driver Pierre Levegh and over 80 spectators led to the cancellations of the French, German, Spanish and Swiss Grands Prix. The team withdrew from motor sport, including Formula One, at the end of the season.
Mercedes GP and Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team (2010–present)
Mercedes 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 in Brackley, close to Mercedes' Formula One engine plant 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 teams management, naming it Brawn GP after team principal Ross Brawn. Brawn used engines from Mercedes-Benz HighPerformanceEngines, 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.
Mercedes 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, Mercedes 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 as competitive as under Brawn, with Mercedes 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 was also involved in 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 accident damage on laps 19 and 22 respectively. In Malaysia, Rosberg qualified ninth and Schumacher again failed to make Q3, qualifying eleventh. Schumacher scored Mercedes' 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 Mercedes in Canada, finishing fourth after running as high as second. In Valencia, Rosberg finished seventh, and Schumacher 17th, 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, 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 car 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 Mercedes 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 Mercedes 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.
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 have no interest in Formula One; the deal was allegedly 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, though 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 publicly unveiled at the Mercedes museum in Stuttgart, with Schumacher and Rosberg in attendance. The car races in Mercedes' traditional silver colours and retains Brawn GP sponsor MIGfx.
- Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains, manufacturer of Mercedes-Benz's Formula One engines.
- Mercedes-Benz in motorsport, Daimler AG have entered Mercedes-Benz into other forms of Motorsport.
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