Mercedes have been involved in motor racing since the start of the 1900s and, although they have been competing in Formula One for a much shorter time than many of their competitors, with four world championships they are the fifth most successful team of all time.
Due to the war, Mercedes were not allowed to compete in motorsport until the 1950s. In 1954 they began competing in F1 and lead Juan Manuel Fangio to the World Championship. With Fangio and Moss in 1955 the team saw a lot of success and, once again, Fangio won the title. Unfortunately a crash in Le Mans that same year – in which Pierre Levegh crashed into the crowd and killed himself and 80 spectators – ended Mercedes motor racing involvement. Not until 1993 would the Mercedes name reappear in Formula One…
They were an engine supplier to Sauber in 1993 but switched to be McLaren’s engine supplier in 1998. Mercedes lead this team to success in 1998, 1999 and 2008. In 2009, Mercedes also supplied engines to the Brawn team, who won both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ championships. At the end of the season, Mercedes took over the team ready to race in 2010.
Signing Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg for the 2010 season the team hoped for the same success as the previous year. However, they failed to maintain the winning standard and finished 4th overall. Unable to challenge McLaren, Ferrari and Red Bull in 2011, the best result was a fourth from Schumacher in Canada. 2012 gave them their first victory, in round 3, when Rosberg took his first ever win. Sadly, this pace wasn’t maintained for the rest of the season and they ended the season 5th.
After Schumacher’s retirement at the end of the 2012 season, Lewis Hamilton made the move to the team from Mclaren. With a more competitive car in 2013, they were able to claim 3 victories and ended the season in 2nd. With new hybrid engine rules for the 2014 season Mercedes won 16 out of 19 races, 11 of which were 1-2 finishes. This gave them the constructors’ title with 3 rounds to spare and, after a season-long battle, Lewis Hamilton won the Drivers’ title.
In 2015 they dominated once again, with Hamilton winning his third world title. They won all but 3 races, but the following season were even stronger, winning 19 of 21 races. This secured them their 3rd Constructors’ championship. However, with Hamilton suffering a number of reliability issues, it was Rosberg who won the drivers’ title.
With Rosberg retiring at the end of 2016, Bottas was brought in to replace him. After a much more closely fought season, Mercedes won their fourth consecutive title but won 12 of the 20 races.