Mercedes Formula 1 Team
Mercedes is involved in Formula 1 with the team Mercedes AMG Petronas. The headquarters of the team is located in the British town of Brackley using a German licence. Interestingly, the team’s history in Formula 1 is not very long because it did not compete from 1956 to 2010.
Until the end of 2016, Mercedes Team had won three Constructors’ championship and five Drivers’ championship titles, making 64 race victories, 73 pole positions and 47 fastest laps in total, which are worthy results, given the relatively small number of Grand Prix entries in relation to other teams.
Video – Nico Rosberg presents Mercedes F1 W05
Fangio set the standards
In 1954, Mercedes’ team entered in what is now known as Formula 1 and had immediate success. Legendary Juan Manuel Fangio had won the title driving W196R cars, leading the team to the Constructors’ title. The next year, Fangio had defended his title, winning four races of the season while his new teammate Stirling Moss finished as runner-up. At the end of the season, Mercedes withdrew from motor sport after a disaster at the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 11, in which the Mercedes pilot Pierre Levegh was killed, as well as more than 80 spectators.
Revival through Brawn GP
Revival of the Mercedes’ factory team happened in 2010 after the purchase of Brawn GP, the team which had won Constructors’ championship a year earlier. Mercedes hired the German drivers Nico Rosberg and seven time champion Michael Schumacher who returned to the series after three years of absence. The first season was far from perfect for the new Mercdes AMG Petronas team as only three third places were scored by Rosberg. The next year, Mercedes was fourth again in Constructors’ championship but without any podium places or pole positions.
In 2012 Niki Lauda had joined the Mercedes AMG Petronas team as a non-executive chairman. Even though the team fell to the fifth place in Constructors’ championship, first signs of improvement were seen that year. Rosberg won the first race for the team in China after 57 years and became the first German driver to win a GP in a German vehicle since 1939. Team’s progress was continued in 2013 when Lewis Hamilton was hired as a substitute for underachieving Schumacher. Mercedes was vice-champion in Constructors’ championship, taking three race wins.
Domination of Silver Arrows all the way
2014 was the year of Mercedes’ total domination. Rosberg and Hamilton stayed with the team and had battled for the title throughout the whole season. Hamilton claimed the first place by making 11 victories, finishing with 67 points more than the runner-up Rosberg who was the winner at five races. In the best season of his career, the German driver had won the newly established FIA Pole Trophy, taking 11 pole positions. The team had clinched Constructors’ title three races before the end of the season, finishing with 296 points ahead of the second placed Red Bull.
The next season was even more successful as Mercedes drivers had won 18 out of 21 races, and both Hamilton and the team had defended their crowns. The domination of Mercedes PU106B Hybrid 1.6 V6 was so impressive, that the season of 2015 became almost boring to spectate. All the other teams were far behind ‘Silver arrows’ with a perspective to repeat the success in 2016.
Supremacy continued in 2016
The season of 2016 was pretty similar to the previous one. Mercedes again was far better than the rest of the grid, so Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg continued their rivalry. This time, the German driver was more successful and for the first time won the Formula 1 Drivers’ championship title. Surprisingly, Rosberg retired soon after becoming a champion. In 2016, Mercedes won 19 out of 21 races (Rosberg 9, Hamilton 10) and scored a total of 33 podiums, 20 pole positions and 9 fastest laps.
In 2017, Mercedes F1 Team will go for its fourth consecutive title, this time with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas running the Mercedes AMG F1 W08 EQ Power+ car.
Video – Inside Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 team
Successful engine supplier
As of the end of 2016, Mercedes has also collected 150 race wins as an engine supplier, and is ranked fourth in Formula 1 history. A total of three constructors’, five teams’ (Mercedes 3, McLaren 1, Brawn GP 1) and nine drivers’ championships (Juan Manuel Fangio 2, Mika Hakkinen 2, Lewis Hamilton 3, Jenson Button 1, Nico Rosberg 1) have been won with cars powered by Mercedes-Benz engines.