|Founded||Karl Benz; Gottlieb Daimler (1926)|
|Key People||Dieter Zetsche|
|Formula E Record|
|Total Entries||0 (0 Starts)|
|Team(s)|| Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team|
|Car||Mercedes-Benz EQ Silver Arrow 01|
Mercedes-Benz, frequently referred to simply Mercedes, are a German automotive manufacturer and largest part of the Daimler AG group. Based in Stuttgart having originally been founded as Benz & Cie. in 1883, Mercedes are the largest luxury vehicle brand and manufacturer in the world, with a renowned reputation in motorsport.
Mercedes are set to join the ABB FIA Formula E Championship as a full manufacturer entry in 2019/20, partnering with HWA Racelab. On the eve of the 2019 Valencia Test it was announced that the Stuttgart based manufacturer would also be supplying Venturi Racing as a customer team.
The origins of Mercedes can be found in the early 1880s, when Karl Benz founded Benz & Cie. in 1883, which resulted in the creation of the first petrol fuelled car, the Benz Patent Motorwagen. The car debuted in 1886, while, a few miles away, Gottlieb Daimler and engineer Wilhelm Maybach worked together to retrofit a stagecoach with one of Benz's engines later that same year. The two groups soon came together to release the first "Mercedes", built by Benz's factory and marketed by Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (Daimler Motors Corporation).
Brands and Battles
DMG would officially merge with Benz's group on the 28 June 1926, with Mercedes adopted as the name of the new firm alongside Benz. The new entity, Mercedes-Benz, would go on to build the model 770 or 'Großer Mercedes' during the 1930s, which became infamous for its use by the Nazi Party. The group would subsequently become a crucial part of Nazi Germany's war effort during the Second World War, before reviving its automotive business during the 1940s.
Mercedes sought to rebuild its reputation by entering various motorsport series during the 1950s, and duly won two Formula One World Championships in 1954 and 1955. However, the group would cease their motorsport programmes in the aftermath of the 1955 Le Mans disaster, which saw a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR smashed into a crowd and killed 80 spectators. Indeed, Mercedes would not return to factory racing until the mid-1980s, joining the World Sportscar Championship and the DTM.
Mercedes would also move into Formula One during the 1990s, buying the engine division of Ilmor to develop engines for McLaren. The group also built engines for IndyCar, and would duly claim the 1994 Indy 500 and CART World Series crowns courtesy of Al Unser Jr. However, Mercedes would have to wait until 1997 to return to the winner's circle in F1, with Mika Häkkinen leading their charge to the constructors title with McLaren.
Mercedes would power McLaren, and later Brawn, to several Championships in the early 2000s, while also merging popular Mercedes tuners AMG into the group. Mercedes racing programmes were hence divided off to "Mercedes-AMG", with the majority of the day-to-day running of those programmes taken over by AMG's successors HWA. The Mercedes AMG subsequently became a brand for all of Mercedes high-performance cars, while HWA ran the group's factory DTM and GT3 entries.
In 2010 Mercedes finally committed to F1 full time, with Mercedes-AMG buying the Brawn F1 team. That purchase, combined with the signing of Lewis Hamilton and the switch to hybrid engines in 2014, would lead to one of the most dominant periods in F1 history. Indeed, between 2014 and 2018 Mercedes would win five consecutive drivers and constructors Championships, matching the record of rivals Ferrari.
Formula E History
Mercedes first became interested in joining the ABB FIA Formula E Championship during the 2016/17 season, and duly signed a pre-agreement with Formula E Holdings to hold an entry for the 2018/19. This agreement was signed ahead of the 2016 Hong Kong ePrix, before being re-affirmed at the 2017 Montreal ePrix I, where Mercedes acted as a partial sponsor. This ultimately resulted in Mercedes' long-term racing partners HWA joining FE during the 2018/19 season as a customer team, with Mercedes taking over their entry, with their own powertrain in 2019/20.
Videos and Images:
- Alex Kalinauckas, 'Venturi switches to Mercedes powertrain, retains drivers', motorsport.com, (Motorsport Network, 03/10/2019), https://www.motorsport.com/formula-e/news/venturi-mercedes-powertrain-massa-mortara/4552030/, (Accessed 03/10/2019)
- 'History: Corporate History', mercedes-benz.com, (Daimler AG, 2019), https://www.mercedes-benz.com/en/mercedes-benz/classic/history/corporate-history/, (Accessed 05/02/2019)
- 'Mercedes EQ Formula E Team gear up for Formula E fight', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E 17/05/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/may/mercedes-eq-formula-e-team-gear-up-for-formula-e-fight/, (Accessed 17/05/2018)
- 'Mercedes takes option on season five entry', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 04/10/2016), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2016/october/mercedes-takes-option-on-season-five-entry/, (Accessed 04/10/2016)
- 'Mercedes-Benz to enter Formula E in Season 6', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 24/07/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/july/mercedes-benz-to-enter-formula-e-in-season-6/, (Accessed 25/07/2017)
- 'HWA AG join the Formula E grid for Season 5', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 09/05/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/may/hwa-ag-join-the-formula-e-grid-for-season-5/, (Accessed 09/05/2018)