Mercedes is pointing to a return to Formula 1 painting of the Silver Arrows in 2022
Mercedes took home only half the price in the 2021 Formula 1 season. While it was the more lucrative of the two possible victories, it wasn’t the one the average motorsport fan will remember for decades.
With that in mind, Mercedes appears poised to return to its roots with a symbolic move that has its focus on ensuring that Lewis Hamilton cuts Max Verstappen’s tenure as drivers world champion short.
So prepare for the return of the Silver Arrows in 2022.
Mercedes is reportedly returning to its Silver Arrow livery
The legendary Mercedes Formula 1 team is planning to return to its traditional livery that spawned the nickname Silver Arrows almost a century ago, The Sports Rush reported, based on details from German news magazine Bild.
Mercedes used the silver scheme until the 2020 season, when the team switched to a black paint job out of respect for the sports community that banded together to fight racism and support diversity, which the multiple world champion Lewis Hamilton had already promoted.
At the time, a Formula 1 report said that only 3% of Mercedes employees were identified as part of a minority group, and 12% were women.
“We will not shy away from our weaknesses in this area or the progress that we still have to make,” said team boss Toto Wolff at the time.
Hamilton clinched his fourth drivers’ championship in a row and seventh place overall this season. Wolff acknowledged the importance of the Silver Arrows story ahead of the 2021 F1 season but said Mercedes will stick with the black design that extends to team clothing for another year.
Red Bull challenges Mercedes to dominate Formula 1
Mercedes had never won the Formula 1 constructors’ championship before 2014, and the team has not given up that title since. The lead this season, however, was just under 613.5-585.5 as Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas left Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez behind.
Winning the overall title is a matter of pride for the teams, but there is one more important aspect. Because the prize money that Formula 1 awards the teams at the end of the season is largely based on the rating of the designers.
The more relevant fight for Formula 1 fans, however, was that between Verstappen and Hamilton for the individual standings. The two split from the field at the beginning of the season and fought a memorable head-to-head duel. Verstappen sewed his first championship by rallying in the last few moments to win the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
That result denied Hamilton a record-breaking eighth championship, and the return to the Silver Arrows could be a clue to the Mercedes team that getting back to its star’s path to victory is a priority.
The tradition started in 1934
The tradition of Mercedes sending Silver Arrows to race tracks began in 1934 and was the result of desperation when driver Manfred von Brauchitsch and the team arrived at the Eifel race in the German Eifel.
On the eve of the race, the W25 model weighed just over two pounds over the limit at 751 kilograms. Racing team boss Alfred Neubauer ordered his crew to sand off the white paint. What remained was a sparkling silver aluminum body. The next morning von Brauchitsch won confidently.
“Driving a Silver Arrow is an honor,” said von Brauchitsch to reporters, according to the Mercedes-Benz website.
This began a tradition that was continued in Formula 1 by Juan Manuel Fangio in the 1950s and more recently by Lewis Hamilton.
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