65 years ago, on 4 July 1954, Mercedes made its Formula One debut at the French Grand Prix in Reims. The driver line-up included Juan Manuel Fangio, who would go on to win not only the French Grand Prix, but also the 1954 and 1955 World Championships, Karl Kling, Hans Herrmann and Hermann Lang.
The team entered the series with a newly developed racing car, the W 196 R. It was powered by a 2.5 litre, inline 8-cylinder engine which produced 256 hp (188 hp) in its first race.
The W 196 came in two different body options - the famous "streamliner", aerodynamically optimised for drag reduction on long straights; and the classic monoposto with open wheels.
While the streamlined version quickly became an iconic race car due to its unconventional looks, it was actually the monoposto that was raced more often in 1954 and 1955, the two seasons that Mercedes competed in Formula One.
But streamlined or not, both versions of the W 196 turned out to be extremely successful, winning nine out of the 12 Formula One races in which they competed.