The history of Mercedes-Benz in racing sports is fascinating, having achieved some incredible highs along the way. These days, Mercedes-Benz is known as one of the dominant forces on the Formula One scene, and with the new season about to get underway, we wanted to highlight some of the most notable victories for the team, not just in F1 but also taking a look at some of their other significant achievements in racing.
Mercedes-Benz was certainly a considerable force in the early days of motorsport, collecting a slew of victories across Europe and also breaking their share of speed barriers. Mercedes-Benz’ first victory was at the Nice Race Weeks in 1901 via the Mercedes-Benz 200 hp.
Just before World War I, the Mercedes 35 hp won the French Grand Prix, producing an impressive 1-2-3 performance.
1930s Grand Prix victories
The legendary Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows were a truly dominant entity during the 1930s, stringing together a bevy of victories in Grand Prix racing in Europe. Just as memorable as their triumphs in competition, the Silver Arrows are also known for their iconic colour (an unintentional occurrence, as it happens). This was certainly an important moment in the history of Mercedes-Benz racing.
Formula One victories (1954-55)
Before Mercedes-Benz left Formula One following the 1955 Le Mans disaster, the team achieved great success with the technologically impressive Mercedes-Benz W196. Debuting at the French Grand Prix in 1954 with driver Juan Manuel Fangio, the team immediately found the winning formula, recording a 1-2 victory for Fangio and Karl Kling respectively. This success didn’t stop there, however, as Fangio also went on to win three more races that year, collecting the championship as a result.
1955 was an equally fruitful year for Mercedes-Benz. Using the same car, Fangio and Stirling Moss managed to win six out of nine races, finishing first and second in the championship respectively.
1997 victory with McLaren
As mentioned, Mercedes-Benz was absent from the F1 scene from 1955 but they returned to the sport in the 90s, initially working with McLaren, supplying the team’s engines. In 1997, David Coulthard achieved victory for McLaren in the opening race. This was certainly an important moment in F1 history, as it was the first victory for Mercedes-Benz since Fangio triumphed at the 1955 Italian Grand Prix.
Rosberg F1 2012 victory and future dominance
Becoming known as the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team, Mercedes-Benz achieved its first victory in 57 years when Nico Rosberg won the 2012 Chinese Grand Prix. Rosberg’s victory was the first Mercedes won as a works team since Fangio in 1955.
This ushered in a huge wave of dominance for Mercedes, with Lewis Hamilton also joining their ranks in 2013. Rosberg would win the Monaco Grand Prix that same year, as well as picking up the British Grand Prix. Hamilton would also secure his first victory for Mercedes at 2013’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
In 2014, Mercedes-Benz would collect their first 1-2 finish as a works team since the 1955 Italian Grand Prix. 2014 would prove to be a terrific year for Mercedes as the team repeated the 1-2 result at both the Monaco and Austrian Grands Prix. Mercedes would also pick up their first Constructors’ Championship as a works team in 2014, whilst Hamilton collected the World Drivers’ Championship.
The team continued their dominance in 2015, improving further upon their already impressive numbers in 2014 by achieving 18 pole positions, 16 wins and 12 1-2s in just 19 races. Mercedes, as a result, picked up the Constructors’ Championship for the second straight year.
Continuing Mercedes’ authority at the top of F1 racing, 2016 saw the team win a third straight Constructors’ Championship and also achieve the highest winning percentage ever during an F1 season (95.2%).
In 2017, the most recent season at the time of this article’s publication, Mercedes retained the Constructors’ Championship yet again and Hamilton became the first British driver to win four world championships. This is truly the era of Mercedes superiority in the F1 space.
For those interested in really becoming ensconced in the minutia of Mercedes F1 stats and figures, make sure to take a look at F1 Fansite, a blog regarding all things Formula One, containing all the pertinent information and statistics regarding teams, drivers, and results.
Sports car victories and Formula Three
Of course, F1 isn’t the be all and end all in the world of motor racing. Mercedes-Benz, with their underpowered Mercedes-Benz 300SL, won a number of races in 1952 once they had returned to racing after the war. Victories included the likes of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Carrera Panamericana.
After the Le Mans disaster in 1955, the Mercedes team had decided not to continue in the field of motorsport, but still won the two remaining races of that season, winning the Manufacturer’s Championship in the process.
Mercedes-Benz returned as a team to sports car racing in 1997 for the FIA GT Championship. In its first year, Mercedes drove to victory, winning both the championship and the drivers’ championship.
Thanks to the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, Mercedes has gone on to achieve great success in the sports racing arena, picking up wins at races such as 24 Hours of Dubai, 24 Hours Nürburgring, Spa 24 Hours, and at multiple GT3 championships.
Mercedes-Benz has also found terrific success in Formula Three, having become the sport’s leading engine supplier. Mercedes-Benz has contributed to four drivers’ championships as well as four teams’ championships.
Mercedes-Benz racing supremacy
As you can see, Mercedes-Benz has accomplished an incredible amount over the years and the team will be hoping their current F1 dominance will continue in the coming seasons. While your Truro, Exeter, Plymouth or Taunton Mercedes-Benz dealership might not be able to supply you with a championship winning vehicle to rival Lewis Hamilton, it’s certainly comforting to know you are part of such a successful team. And if you want to keep up to date with all things Benz, including must-read news and reviews, checking out BenzInsider is certainly a good place to go.
To discover the very best in road-going Mercedes-Benz vehicles, make sure you take a look at our new cars model page and visit our dealerships.