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Images from the 2019 German Grand Prix
NEWS

Silver Arrows: 125 years in motorsport

Jul 292019

Highs and lows are an integral part of motorsport. While the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Team raced into their second home Grand Prix of the season, to fight for another podium lockout - and celebrate two huge anniversaries - the odds seemed stacked in their favour.

Off the back of a 1-2 podium triumph at Silverstone, Lewis and Valtteri zeroed in on Hockenheim in southern Germany, with high-hopes to replicate the British Grand Prix result. Saturday’s P1 and P3 qualifying spots hinted towards a silverware-filled Sunday session; however after a wet and wild 64 laps, where Lewis finished an uncharacteristic 11th, and Valtteri crashed out, the dream was unfortunately over.

It was a unwelcome twist of fate on a historic Grand Prix weekend, which not only celebrated Mercedes-Benz’ 125th year of motorsport, but also the team’s 200th race in Formula One.

To mark the occasion, a one-off special white livery, paying homage to the original Silver Arrow - born some 85 years ago in 1934 - was used on Lewis and Valtteri’s Mercedes AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+.

Back then, racing cars were painted to represent the origin of either their car or driver. Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix race cars were traditionally painted white, representing the German history of the brand. However, according to legend, at the ‘Eifelrennen’ event held on 3 June 1934 at the Nürburgring, the Mercedes-Benz W25 was declared over the 750Kg weight limit. Allegedly, the team was able to reduce the weight to within regulatory limits by scraping off its white paint. Without the white paint, the metal bodywork of the car was exposed, giving it a silver look: the first Silver Arrow.

Fast-forward to 1954, and Mercedes-Benz made its Formula One debut at the French Grand Prix. The race was held on 4th of July 1954 in Reims and there was a winning start for the W196, as the great Juan Mauel Fangio drove it to glory.

 

Regardless of the result at Hockenheim, the team's record in Formula One still stands at an impressive 96 wins in 200 races. What’s more, during that time, the team have secured five constructors' championship titles, seven drivers' championship titles, 109 pole positions and 70 fastest laps.

In true motorsport fashion however, Lewis and Valtteri are immediately putting the disappointment of Hockenheim behind them, and switching focus to the next race in Hungary.

 

Not least because Lewis is currently the most successful driver at Hungaroring in F1 history - holding six wins (2007, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2018) - and last time out the Silver Arrow duo finished first and second.

 

Lewis, who was also feeling unwell over the weekend, said: "What a crazy race. This has been one of the most difficult races we've had as a team for a long time. I thought I had the race under control, but we took a risk going out on slicks and the race fell apart from there.

 

"I'm just glad it's over. It's hard to perform when you're not at 100 per cent. I need to make sure I'm fit and healthy again in time for the next race. You live and you learn from days like this. It's important now that we regroup for Hungary."

 

Valtteri, added: “That was a really tough race and I'm very disappointed. It was tricky out there: the track was very slippery and the conditions changed all the time. It was very easy to make a mistake and unfortunately I made a mistake in the end which lost us a lot of points. It's very disappointing for the entire team, but we'll give it everything to come back stronger in Hungary.”

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