Mercedes Racing History

Mercedes is an icon of luxury and style around the world- an excellent example of German engineering. What many people may not know, though, is that Mercedes has been involved in motorsports for over a century. From the Belle Époque in 1895, to current participation in Formula 3, DTM, and Formula 1 racing, Mercedes has always been a formidable presence in racing. Here’s a quick glance at the Mercedes racing history:

  • 1894- Back before the Mercedes brand name was created, DMG could boast that 9 of the 15 cars that finished the first public auto race were theirs.
  • 1900- The first truly ‘modern’ car is developed, a 35-horsepower racing model named “Mercedes” after the daughter of the man who ordered its production.
  • 1901- Mercedes model arrives on the Belle Époque racing scene in France, and creates a stir, cruising to victory in the Nice-Aix-Salon-Nice race, with an average speed of 58.1 km/hr.
  • 1908- Mercedes places 1st and 5th in the French Grand Prix, defeating France’s hope for a “Le Grande Nation” victory.
  • 1911- The “Blitzen Benz” established a world record that remained undefeated until 1919: 228.1km/hr.
  • 1914- Victory again in the French Grand Prix, with a first, second and third place finish for Mercedes cars.
  • 1915- Racing is temporarily suspended because of World War I.
  • 1927- Mercedes “White Elephants” dominate the racing world, with 76 victories in 90 races.
  • 1934- In order to meet new weight regulations imposed by the International Association of Motoring Clubs, race organizer Alfred Neubauer instructs his mechanics to remove the coat of white paint from his Mercedes-Benz. The car meets weight, wins the race, and the legendary Silver Arrow is born.
  • 1938- The Mercedes-Benz team sweeps Tripoli with a one, two, three finish.
  • 1939- Racing is again halted because of World War 2.
  • 1952- The Mercedes Gullwing wins races across the globe
  • 1954- The Daimler Benz racing team devotes itself to Formula One racing, and dominates the French Grand Prix
  • 1978- High speed V8 coupes arrive on the scene, and Mercedes continues to dominate the racing scene
  • 1989- Partnering with the Sauber team, Mercedes wins five races, and finishes Championship runners up.
  • 1992- Mercedes is unbeatable, dominating the German Touring Car Championship by a comfortable margin, with sixteen individual victories. This winning streak continues throughout the 90s.
  • 1998- Silver Arrows make a comeback! Complex composite material structures are developed to absorb energy more effectively, and victories continue.
  • 2000- Returning to the German Touring Car Championship after a four year hiatus, Mercedes wins eight of a total possible sixteen victories.
  • 2008- Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton becomes the youngest driver ever to win the World Championship in Formula One racing.

Not surprisingly, Mercedes is gearing up for another successful racing season in 2011. Given their long and illustrious history, Mercedes-Benz is sure to dominate racing for as long as the sport exists.