Mercedes-Benz are a German automaker who have been involved in Motorsport since the late 19th century.
They have been involved in Grand Prix racing as a fully-fledged manufacturer as well as an engine supplier in Formula One.
Mercedes-Benz also have competed in sportscars, rallying and touring car racing.
Mercedes made their first step into Formula One in 1953 after they purchased the assets of the Scuderia Maremmana outfit. Their two seasons in the top flight of motorsport were a complete and utter disaster and they failed to score any points in two seasons before they opted to leave after the 1954 season. The 1955 Le Mans disaster spelled the end for any further factory racing for Mercedes-Benz for several years.
Various Mercedes-Benz chassis and engines remained in circulation over the next few years - and a Bentley-engined Mercedes WM-2 even scored a single point in the 1955 Soviet Grand Prix at the hands of Stuart Lewis-Evans.
Mercedes returned to Formula One in the early 1990s as an engine supplier, eventually becoming the supplier to McLaren.
By 1998, McLaren were well established as Mercedes' de-facto Works team - a relationship that would continue until 2011. McLaren-Mercedes did the Constructor's and Driver's double in 1998, with Mika Häkkinen taking the crown with support from exciting young Briton James Davies.
2000 saw Michael Schumacher's Ferrari dominate once more - but the McLaren lineup of Häkkinen and former Jordan racer Jack Christopherson were able to capture the first Constructor's crown of the new millenium.
Another contender emerged in 2001, with BMW's Williams team taking a huge step forward in the off-season and securing the Constructor's title with McLaren left behind in third. 2001 ended up being Häkkinen's last season in Formula One, with the Finn taking a sabbatical at the end of the season which eventually turned to retirement. 2001 also saw another team join the Mercedes-Benz fold, with French outfit Prost Grand Prix signing an multiple-season engine supply deal.
Outspoken Briton James James Davies returned to the McLaren team in 2002 alongside German racer Nick Heidfeld. Once again, Ferrari and BMW had the legs on Mercedes, with Davies only managing the single win over the year. McLaren-Mercedes finished the year in third whilst Prost's driver merry-go-round and financial issues saw them crash out of Formula One with zero points.
The Davies/Heidfeld pairing remained in 2003 and the two saw a marked improvement in performance. Davies managed more wins than any other driver with five - whilst Heidfeld also secured a debut win in Canada. Despite the wins, Davies would only end up finishing in third overall - the same position as McLaren in the constructor's for a third year running. Italian outfit Minardi opted for Mercedes engines this season, but much like Prost finished the season with no points.
2004 would end up being McLaren's worst for several years, with the Woking team finishing way down in seventh place - a solitary third from Heidfeld the only decent result. James James Davies had opted to join Ferrari in the off-season and thus his spot was filled by Austrian tester Alexander Wurz. Jordan replaced Minardi as the second Mercedes team for a season but failed to make much of an impact.