Schumacher will Drive a 2011 Formula 1 Silver Arrow Around Nurburgring
In 1976, Nikki Lauda suffered a horrible crash on the Nordschleife and since then, the racetrack was declared too dangerous for Formula 1 racing. Still, in 2007 Nick Heidfeld had the courage to take a BMW Sauber on the track for a few laps. Now, after six years Michael Schumacher will do the same.
On the 19th of May, just before the start of the 24-hour race around Nürburgring, Schumacher will post a demonstration lap in a Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W02. This is the way the seven-time F1 driver’s champ will say "thank you" to his fans for their years of loyal support during his F1 career.
In July 2011, Schumacher covered part of the Nordschleife while driving a Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow Stromlinie W196. If the name of the car sounds familiar to you, it’s because it was the one that brought Mercedes two world titles during the 1954 and the 1955 season. The car was driven by Juan Manuel Fangio, who achieved eight wins in all.
Click past the jump to read more about the W196.
About Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow Stromlinie W196 and its Success in 1954
The W196 was the first Formula 1 Silver Arrow that gave Mercedes-Benz to two world titles in the 1954 and 1955 seasons. During the two seasons, the W196 managed to win 9 of 12 races it entered.
The W196 was powered by a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated engine - a stage move for Mercedes, considering that until then all its racing cars were using a supercharged engine. For the 1954 racing season the engine delivered a total of 257 horsepower, while for the 1955 racing season it was increased to 290 horsepower.
1955 Le Mans Crash
The 1954 and 1955 racing seasons had many ups and downs for Mercedes. The W196 was writing history at the German Grand Prix, but the 1955 Le Mans went horrible for the company. A collision between a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR driven by Pierre Levegh and an Austin-Healy sent the Mercedes’ engine, hood and steering assembly in to the crowd. Nearly 80 spectators died instantly.