Mercedes brought a new level of professionalism to the sport of F1 in the 1950s with the legendary silver-arrows cars. It won two titles in 1954 and 1955 with Juan Manuel Fangio, but its involvement in the sport was cut short early when disaster struck at Le Mans. Eighty-four spectators and driver Pierre Levegh were killed when his Mercedes crashed, spreading debris into the crowd.
The marquee did not return to F1 until 1994, but only then as supplier for Sauber, before returning to success as supplier to McLaren from 1995. It then supplied the engines for Brawn GP during their remarkable 2009 season, as the team went from the brink of withdrawing to world champions in little over 12 months.
The former Honda team were purchased by Ross Brawn in March of that year, with Mercedes replacing Honda as engine supplier. Jenson Button would win six of the first seven Grand Prix races, enough to ultimately claim the title and, along with two wins for Rubens Barichello, the constructors' crown.
That November Mercedes purchased a minority stake in Brawn GP, meaning they would return to the sport as a factory team for 2010. The team retained Ross Brawn as team principle and its base in Brackley. For its debut season Mercedes were able to lure seven-time champion Michael Schumacher out of retirement to partner Nico Rosberg in an all-German lineup. But the team failed to live up to the lofty achievements of Brawn in 2010, with Schumacher struggling to readjust to the new F1 landscape and Rosberg managing just three podium finishes.
The team took a backwards step in 2011 as they failed to visit the podium once, but there seemed to be reason for optimism as Rosberg claimed his first career win in Malaysia at the third round of 2012. But a title challenge failed to materialise as Rosberg finished on the podium just once more, while Schumacher's disappointing return to the sport came to an end at the conclusion of the season.
Replacing Schumacher was another world champion, Lewis Hamilton, as the team emerged as the best of the rest in a 2013 season dominated by Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull. Rosberg claimed a pair of wins at Monaco and the British Grand Prix, while Hamilton won in Hungary, as the team did enough to finish six points ahead of Ferrari in second in the constructors' championship.
The pair have been retained for the 2014 season.