The French Grand Prix has returned to the Formula One schedule this season after a decade away from the sport. This is significant for a number of reasons, but undoubtedly the most important is that it marks the revival of motorsport's most historic Grand Prix.
France is widely regarded as a pioneer of motor racing, having held the first competitive motor race in 1894 (Paris-Rouen) and the world's first Grand Prix in 1906, open to international competition and with a 'Great Prize' being awarded to the winner.
The Paris-to-Rouen event was the first foray into racing for Mercedes, embedding the roots of the marque's long and rich motorsport history. Its participation in racing continued to evolve and grow through the late 1800s and early 1900s, with initial success not being far away.
One of these early triumphs was the 1908 French Grand Prix at Dieppe. Daimler's Mercedes machine stormed to victory with Christian Lautenschlager behind the wheel, ahead of Benz's Victor Hémery and René Hanriot - with the German manufacturers locking out the podium, well before they eventually merged to form Mercedes-Benz in 1926.
Mercedes' good fortunes in France continued, with the manufacturer back on the top step of the podium at the 1914 French Grand Prix - where it reached a landmark milestone. Staged on public roads in Lyon, it featured an epic 20-lap battle for victory between Peugeot and Mercedes.