Manfred von Brauchitsch, 1905-2003

Former works Mercedes driver Manfred von Brauchitsch, the last of the pre-war greats, has died at the age of 97

Manfred von Brauchitsch, 1905-2003

After starting his racing career in a private Mercedes in 1929, the German was the first driver to win a Grand Prix for the legendary Silver Arrows Mercedes at the 1934 Eifelrennen, held at the Nurburgring. He drove for Mercedes until the start of World War Two, during which time he garnered a reputation as a hard-charging, if unlucky, driver.

During his works career von Brauchitsch also won the 1937 Monaco GP and the 1938 French Grand at Reims, both times leading home the legendary Rudolf Caracciola.

As well as Caracciola, von Bracuhitsch was a contemporary of the likes of Tazio Nuvolari and Bernd Rosemeyer, and was considered to be one of the top drivers of his era.

However, despite his many successes, he was best known for the ill-luck which cost him many great victories. He famously missed out on victories in the German Grands Prix of 1935 and 1938 with car problems, and was also disqualified from victory in the prestigious Coppa Ciano, held at Livorno in Italy, after winning on the road in 1938.

In the decades after the war he worked in the East German ministry of sports, and retained close ties with Mercedes stemming from his six years as a works driver.

"He was one of the founders of the Silver Arrow legend and the first winner in a Grand Prix car of this name," said Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug. "He was one of the first to congratulate us on Mika Hakkinen's first championship, and we will all keep him in our memory as a great racing driver of our company."

shares
comments
Will Hoy, 1952 - 2002

Previous article

Will Hoy, 1952 - 2002

Next article

Fermin Velez 1959-2003

Fermin Velez 1959-2003
Load comments
How the next step in the IMSA and WEC convergence can reunite multiple fronts Plus

How the next step in the IMSA and WEC convergence can reunite multiple fronts

OPINION: Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

WEC
Jul 13, 2021
Why IMSA glory for Mazda would be a bittersweet ending Plus

Why IMSA glory for Mazda would be a bittersweet ending

Mazda believes it has never had a better chance of clinching the title in IMSA's Prototype division. Achieving this goal would be the bittersweet culmination of an achingly hard struggle, after which the brand has decided to quit

IMSA
Apr 11, 2021
The groundbreaking new boss leading GM's sportscar assault Plus

The groundbreaking new boss leading GM's sportscar assault

After taking over Corvette Racing from long-time custodian Doug Fehan, 34-year-old Laura Wontrop Klauser is leading General Motors through a transitional phase in sportscar racing. Here’s how she got into her dream role and what she plans to do with it

IMSA
Mar 21, 2021
Nine things to look out for at the 2021 Daytona 24 Hours Plus

Nine things to look out for at the 2021 Daytona 24 Hours

After a 100-minute sprint race to whet the appetite, the 2021 IMSA SportsCar Championship gets underway properly this weekend. With plenty of significant changes during the winter, here are the key points you need to keep an eye on

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars Plus

Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars

Having gone over seven years without a race win through spells with McLaren, Renault and Haas, Kevin Magnussen's departure from Formula 1 for IMSA with big-hitter Chip Ganassi Racing could give him what he craves most - a chance of success

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights Plus

Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights

Oliver Gavin has stepped down from the full-time Corvette Racing line-up after a stellar career with the team spanning nearly 20 years. He looks back on a stint that encompassed, among other successes, five Le Mans 24 Hours victories

IMSA
Jan 28, 2021
The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked Plus

The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked

The 2020 edition of the Florida sportscar classic is finally taking place this weekend, eight months after its traditional date in March. That meant there was plenty of time for Autosport to pour over its previous 67 races and select the best

IMSA
Nov 11, 2020
When Porsche became a giant-killer Plus

When Porsche became a giant-killer

In the first of a new series celebrating underdog achievements from the annals of motorsport history, we revisit the 2015 Petit Le Mans - where a tyre advantage in appallingly wet conditions helped the GT cars overcome the prototypes

IMSA
Apr 15, 2020