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F1 encyclopedia

Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport

Formula 1 team

Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport
Credit: Mercedes
Team information
CountryGermany
F1 debutBahrain Grand Prix, 2010
Season line-up
Race driverLewis Hamilton
Race driverValtteri Bottas
Key members of staff
Head of motorsportToto Wolff
Engineering directorAldo Costa
Sporting directorRon Meadows
Technical directorJames Allison

Mercedes made a brief foray into F1 racing in the 1950s, but withdrew in 1955 and didn’t return as a works team until 2010. They gradually improved with pole positions and podiums, followed by race wins and in 2014, a championship victory. Two more followed, and although the team enjoyed domination, it was far from easy. Driver disputes were frequent and fraught, as Hamilton and Rosberg provided much of the drama for the next few seasons.

F1 history

Mercedes have long been associated with motorsport, the fabled Silver Arrows making appearances in pre-F1 racing. The team entered Formula One in its first decade, with Juan Manuel Fangio driving for them in 1954 and beyond. Unfortunately, the 1955 season was marred by the Le Mans disaster in which one crash killed the driver and more than 80 of the crowd. At the end of the year, Mercedes withdrew from having a team in motorsport.

However, they continued to supply engines across the years and were still heavily involved in Formula One, particularly partnered with McLaren. Ahead of the 2010 season, Mercedes bought the Brawn GP team and rebranded them as a works outfit. With Nico Rosberg and returning champion Michael Schumacher on board, they were a fully German team despite still being based at Brackley. Rosberg took the team’s first podium during that 2010 season, but it would take until 2012 before they would get their first win.

Nico Rosberg took victory in China that year, whilst Schumacher was unable to do the same. The German racer retired at the end of the year and was replaced by Lewis Hamilton. Mercedes’s results continued to improve, they won three times in 2013 and finished second in the championship as best of the rest behind the super-dominant Red Bull.

For 2014, the Mercedes team were tipped to be the favourites, with the strongest of the new breed of engines, and they delivered. Winning all but three of the races during the season, the title fight was only ever going to be between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. They had to navigate some tricky waters, including team order decisions, plus teammate unrest and relationship squabbles, but ultimately managed to hold things together to take victory. The team remained unchanged for 2015, and managed to repeat their success.

In 2016, it was a similar story, with both Hamilton and Rosberg going head to head throughout the year, untroubled by any other cars or drivers. On several occasions during the season, the bosses were called in to mediate situations between their drivers, and they also ended up defending themselves when team order situations came into play. This season, however, it was Rosberg who took home the championship trophy, taking victory at the final race of the season. Just a few days of celebrating later, and he threw a spanner into the Mercedes works by announcing his retirement from the sport.

After taking their time in announcing a replacement, Mercedes confirmed they were poaching Bottas from the Williams team, and thus their lineup for 2017 was Hamilton and Bottas.

Learn more about Mercedes with the Pocket F1 Handbook.