Mercedes-Benz in Formula 1 (1954 – 1955)
Four years after the inaugural Formula 1 season in 1950, which was dominated by Alfa Romeo, Mercedes-Benz cars were back in motor racing making their debut at the 1954 French Grand Prix. The company set out its intentions from the off signing the 1951 World Champion, Juan Manual Fangio, to drive for them. The decision paid dividends as the team recorded a 1-2 victory in their debut at the French, and Fangio went on to win the 1954 World Championship.
Success continued into 1955 season with Fangio retaining his World Championship and Stirling Moss, the other team Mercedes-Benz driver, claiming second place. However, following the 1955 Le Mans disaster in which driver Pierre Levegh and 83 spectators were killed, Mercedes-Benz withdrew from all factory sponsored motorsport.
Mercedes-Benz in Formula 1 (1993 – 2009 & 2010 – present)
The company returned to Formula 1 in 1993 as an engine supplier, firstly to Sauber and from 1995 onwards to McLaren. This combination saw moderate success for over a decade, culminating in Lewis Hamilton dramatically claiming the 2008 World Championship by 1 point over Ferrari counterpart Felipe Massa, making the telling move on the last lap of the final Grand Prix of the season.
Mercedes ended a long affiliation with McLaren in late 2009, and purchased a 75% controlling stake in Brawn GP for which Jenson Button had won the World Championship that year.