AMG & Motorsport
The Silver Arrows
Mercedes-Benz have had an outstanding reputation in motorsport since 1934, winning their first race at the 1954 French Grand Prix and later that year the Drivers’ Championships. Nicknamed the ‘Silver Arrows’, Mercedes-Benz dominated the races alongside rivals Auto Union, winning all European Grand Prix Championships after 1932. The team began formally competing in what was known as ‘Formula One’ in 1954, under the leadership of Alfred Neuberger, using the technologically advanced Mercedes-Benz W196.
A Distaster in Le Mans
Throughout 1955, Mercedes-Benz developed the W196, leading the Formula One Season and winning the Championships 1-2. The 1955 season was met with much tragedy, however, with 83 people killed alongside Mercedes-Benz Driver Pierre Levegh in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. As a result of this, the French, German, Spanish and Swiss Grand Prix were cancelled, and Mercedes-Benz announcing their withdrawal from motorsport at the end of the year.
A New Era
Returning as an engine supplier in 1994, Mercedes-Benz made engines for several teams, the most notable being McLaren, a partnership that resulted in the development of the world-famous SLR. This ended in 2009, when it was announced that Mercedes-Benz Group AG had purchased a sizeable stake in the Brawn Grand Prix Team. Following a sponsorship deal with Petronas, the team was re-branded as Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team. Mercedes made their official return to Formula One for the 2010 season with highly-respected drivers Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg at the helm.
In 2012, the team removed the ‘GP’ from their name and added AMG. The 2012 season got off to a rocky start, with the new F1 W03 met with protest from other teams as a result of its ‘radical’ rear wing. This matter was later rejected by the stewards, and driver Nico Rosberg took the team’s first pole position as a works team since 1955 and first win in 57 years at the Chinese Grand Prix.
The Dynamic Duo
In September of that year, it was announced that Lewis Hamilton would join Rosberg for the 2013 season at Mercedes. Rosberg went on to win the 2013 Monaco and British Grand Prix, while Hamilton took his first victory as a Mercedes driver at the Hungarian Grand Prix. This resulted in a second place in the Constructors’ Championship, ahead of key competitor Ferrari in third.
In 2014, the first year of the V6 era, Hamilton and Rosberg continued to dominate, affording AMG Petronas their first Constructors’ Championship as a works team. After winning the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi, Hamilton was awarded the World Drivers’ Championship. They repeated this in 2015, winning both Championships once again with 16 race victories and 12 1-2’s in 19 races.
The Pinnacle of Motorsport
In 2016 Mercedes won 19 of the 21 races held, with Rosberg winning his first and only Drivers’ Championship, finishing 5 points ahead of team mate Lewis Hamilton. Shortly after his win, Rosberg announced his retirement from Formula One racing. He was replaced by Valtteri Bottas for the 2017 season, in which Mercedes won their fourth consecutive Constructors’ Championship and Hamilton’s fourth Drivers’ Championship. 2017 was also notable for Bottas, who scored his first three race wins ever at the helm of a Mercedes vehicle.
Mercedes’ meteoric rise in the last seven years has become one of the most successful teams in recent Formula One history, having achieved consecutive Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships from 2014 to 2017. In 2014, the Petronas Team managed eleven one-two finishes, beating McLaren’s record. Mercedes also collected 16 victories in 2014 and 2015 apiece, breaking the record of 15 awarded to both McLaren (1988) and Ferrari (2002,2004). In 2016, they extended their record to 19 wins.
AMG Motorsport Fast Facts
- As an engine supplier, Mercedes have collected 160 wins in total
- AMG Petronas is ranked fourth in Formula One history, with six Constructors' and ten Drivers' Championships
- AMG Petronas beat McLaren's 1988 record of 10 1-2 finishes with their 11 in 2014, extending it to 12 with another 1-2 in 2015
- In 2012, Nico Rosberg became the first German driver to win a Grand Prix driving a German vehicle since Hermann Lang in 1939
- AMG Petronas secured 20 poles in 2016, the highest percentage ever in a single season art 95.2%
- Lewis Hamilton was the first British driver to win four world championships
- AMG manufactures their engines in Brixworth, Northamptonshire at Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains.