With the approach of the new Formula 1 that was due to begin with the 1954 season, Daimler-Benz announced that they would be represented by an entirely new team of Mercedes-Benz racing cars. When these entirely new W-196 cars emerged at Reims, fans recoiled in astonishment. These sleek new silver rocket ships were futuristically alien machines from Mars. Juan Fangio and Karl Kling immediately qualified first and second, then finished 1-2 in this their debut race.
Over the fleeting 14 months that followed — completing the 1954 season and on through 1955 — the Mercedes Benz A W-196 single-seater contested 12 World Championship qualifying Grands Prix. They won nine of them, confirmed Fangio’s 194 Driver’s World Championship, and then carried him to a second consecutive Driver’s title in 1955. Through that second season of the W-196’s meteorically brief career, the Daimler-Benz factory team had also campaigned its related 300SLR sports-racing cars. They proved fantastically unbeatable, winning every Sports Car World Championship race entered except Le Mans, from which the team was withdrawn when running 1-2.
On October 16, 1955, Stirling Moss and Peter Collins won the Targa Florio in Sicily to add the Sports Car title to Fangio’s Formula One Driver’s crown. With both World Championships won and total road-racing domination re-established, Mercedes-Benz had nothing left to prove.