The history of the Mercedes F1 team
Mercedes first competed as a constructor in 1954 and 1955, officially under the name Daimler-Benz AG. This was Mercedes’ first dominant era in Formula 1, as Juan Manual Fangio was signed during the middle of the 1954 season, and won world championships. Mercedes pulled out of all racing series after the notorious horrific incident at the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Mercedes returned to F1 as an engine supplier from 1994 onwards, winning Constructors’ championships with McLaren (1998) and Brawn GP (2009). In 2010, they officially returned as a constructor, rebranding Brawn GP, with Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg behind the wheel. Rosberg earned the new team’s first podium at the 2010 Chinese Grand Prix. After Schumacher retired for a second time, another well-established name, Lewis Hamilton, was signed for the 2013 season.
Thanks to a regulation change in 2014, Mercedes became the dominant team in the sport, with Nico Rosberg winning one and Lewis Hamilton winning six world titles over the next seven years. Valtteri Bottas also won ten Grands Prix with Mercedes in this period. Furthermore, the team won eight consecutive Constructors’ championships from 2014 until 2021. From the 2022 season onwards, the German team are now the chasers and hope to regain their earlier success.
Mercedes in 2024
Mercedes once again missed the mark in 2023. The German team stayed with the same concept for the start of the 2023 season and were still some distance away from Red Bull. This caused Toto Wolff and the rest of the team to pull the trigger. All development switched to a new concept. Hamilton managed to secure pole position at the Hungarian Grand Prix but that was about as good as individual results got. Mercedes introduced a new floor at the United States Grand Prix, which allowed Hamilton to have his best shot at winning a race since 2021. It wasn't to be, and they crossed the line in second place. Only to be disqualified later because their floor plank was too thin.
In the end, Hamilton finished third in the World Championship, with Russell down in P8. The result wasn't enough to excite Hamilton, as during the winter he announced he will leave Mercedes at the end of 2024. The Brit will move to Ferrari for a new challenge which will make the dynamics at Mercedes interesting during the season.