Home - The Official Formula 1 Website Skip to content

Mercedes to demo 1908 racer at Magny-Cours 17 Jun 2008

Race winner Christian Lautenschlager (GER) in his Mercedes 12.8 litre. French Grand Prix, Dieppe, France, 7 July 1908. © Jeal/Sutton Norbert Haug (GER) Mercedes Sporting Director.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Bahrain Grand Prix, Practice Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, Friday, 4 April 2008

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen will step back in time at Magny-Cours this weekend, as engine partners Mercedes celebrate the 100th anniversary of their first ever victory.

In 1908, Christian Lautenschlager won the French Grand Prix in a four-cylinder 12.8-litre car which produced 135bhp. To mark this event, an original 1908 historic Benz Grand Prix car will be on display, with Hamilton and Kovalainen also completing demonstration laps in the historic machine.

"Mercedes-Benz and motor racing have a long standing tradition in France,” commented Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport. “100 years ago, Christian Lautenschlager won the French Grand Prix at the wheel of a Mercedes; it has been the first out of 104 Grand Prix victories in the Mercedes-Benz motor sport history.

“Even 14 years before that first Grand Prix win, in 1894, the first ever car race was held in France and was won by a car powered by a Daimler engine. In the race Nizza-Salon-Nizza 1901, also in France, Wilhelm Werner achieved the first victory for the brand Mercedes.

“In 1954, at our comeback in Grand Prix racing and debut in Formula One we celebrated a one-two victory with Juan Manuel Fangio ahead of Karl Kling in Reims, France, on the same day as Germany won the football World Cup in Bern, Switzerland. However, our balance of the French Grand Prix in Magny-Cours is quite modest - only one win in 2000 with David Coulthard."