Mercedes’ motorsport history dates all the way back to 1894 which, if your maths is on point, you’ll notice was a staggering 125 years ago. The German GP will also mark the manufacturers 200th grand prix and, coincidentally, it’s also a race which Mercedes-Benz is the title sponsor of.
Throw all those anniversaries and milestones together and you’ve got the perfect excuse for a one-off livery. And that’s exactly what the team has done – well, partially. The back half of the livery is largely the same, while the front has been decked out in white.
As well as the old white transitioning into the new silver, there are also some other nice touches, such as the classic version of the Mercedes badge and even an old-school Pirelli logo. The driver numbers have returned to the traditional red, too.
Why white? Well, until sponsorship started to dictate liveries in the 1960s, teams and manufacturers used to race in their national colours – for France, that was blue, red for Italy, and green for the UK. Germany? White.
Mercedes-Benz (and before that Daimler and Benz) therefore raced in white for decades until the 1930s, when the cars started to appear in bare silver. The story goes that scraping the paint off was a last-minute effort from the team to meet a maximum weight limit, however it’s far more likely that the cars were intended to be left unpainted as a weight-saving measure. Ever since then, Mercedes race cars have been known as the ‘Silver Arrows’.
A version of this article was originally posted on WTF1
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