Silver Arrows – Racing gurus

In 2010, the three pointed star acquired 75% stake in BrawnGP, the championship winning 2009 team. They were a renowed engine supplier for Mclaren and  they also supply engines for Sahara Force India team. It all started back in 1993 when Sauber was powered by the excellent Mercedes engine and later in 1995 they paired with Mclaren and their reign continued till then.

During their superb run  they’d won two drivers title back to back with Mika Hakkinen on board (1998 & 1999 ) and one with Lewis Hamilton in 2008. What about their racing past and how did they get their Silver Arrows name??

Rewind back the racing history to the 19th century there was one brand that stood tall, Mercedes-Benz. Even its moniker got a story behind it. In June 3, 1934 their W25 racer was heavier by a Kilo to the standard 750 Kg weight limit. Alfred Neubauer decided not to make any technical changes to the car to get rid of  a Kilo, on the next day racing morning at the Nurburgring appeared a car with all its traditional white paint scraped off. The Shining, ever faster silver Arrows were born.

After few years, the German press gave the Silver Arrow sobriquet that turned out to become one of the lingering voices in motor racing. In 1923, Benz raced at European GP held in Monza with their Rumpler Tropfenwagen inspired Benz Tropfenwagen designed by Hans Nibel. After few years, due to financial crisis they emerged with Daimler and Daimler-Benz branded its cars as  Mercedes-Benz.

Even though they resembled Auto Union cars, their inline 8 cylinder Churned out 314ps power. It had a supercharger, hydraulic-operated drum brakes, independent suspension and as the years passed by their 4.7 L unit displaced near 500Ps.
1935 was an auspicious year, they sealed the European and German champions title with Rudolf Carraciola. They decimated the competition winning 9 out of 10 races. As the rivalry evolved between Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union, the cars produced staggering 650ps, racing over scarcely believable 400Kmph. W125 of 1937 was an example for it. A new formula was beckoned to make the driving safety. 3 L supercharged and 4 L normally aspirated engines came in to picture. Daimler-Benz answer was a 3L motor, 430ps it produced.
W154 won the 1938 and 1939 European champion’s title, V12 of W154 was further tuned to produce 480ps to win 1939 title. It also won the famous Tripoli Gp with Hermann Lang, Manfred Von Brauchitsch and Carraciola securing a historic triple finish. Carraciola won 1938 European champion’s title. Alfred Neubauer was a charismatic character, he developed a new 1.5L W165 racing car which produced a remarkable 254Ps.

Despite a single test run, Rudolf and Hermann outpaced other teams from Italy and Britain to mark 1-2 on the podium. This V8 didn’t race after that though.Mercedes-Benz had the world starring at their Grand Prix excellence, due to the out break of war racing was abandoned.
The Stuttgart team appeared in racing again in 1954 and developed cars from more or less scratch. The technology of racing cars along with new regulations were proven to be a big challenge for the team. They’d chosen to run  2.5L 8cylinder inline engines instead of 750cc supercharged formula. They called it W196R which had chassis so light of just 36Kg and so rigid. The spaceframe concept was carried over from 300SL and body was streamlined Magnesium made which gave instant advantage of four seconds over its rivals.
Their return to F1 was a success, Juan Manuel Fangio beaten the odds to win 1954 and 1955 world title. Five double finish from him and Sir Stirling Moss in 1954 and 1955. They won a record 10 races in 13 meetings during that period.
1955 LeMans disaster put an end to Mercedes-Benz run of form which killed their driver Pierre Levegh and 80 other spectators. They withdrawn from all forms of racing at the end of 1955 season.
Silver Arrows legacy was rewritten at the 2010 Formula One season with Grand Prix legend Michael Schumacher and young German Nico Rosberg behind the wheels.
It haven’t been a return that all expected but in Formula One you’ve got to have faith in what you do and take each strides which is what MercedesGP is doing right now. They increased their work force and appointed Aldo Costa and Geoff Wills to the technical line-up. The days of gleaming Silver Arrows rule the field is not far from reality.


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