Monday 19th October 1987
Racer Hermann Lang (78), one of the great drivers of the 1930s, died of natural causes. The German made his racing debut on the 16th June 1935 at the Nürburgring, finishing 5th. He went on to win several Grands Prix and to become the 1939 European Hill Climb Champion, at the time quite a desirable title. World War II robbed him of his best years, but he emerged as a Formula 1 driver in 1951 with an outdated Mercedes-Benz W 154. Driving the Mercedes 300 SL sports car he won the 1952 Eifelrennen, the Prix de Berne and together with Fritz Riess, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The following year he showed up at the Swiss GP with a Maserati, finishing fifth. Mercedes entered Formula 1 officially in 1954 but at age 45 Lang missed out on a podium finish at his home Grand Prix by going off. Hermann had to accept that his racing days were over, he retired from the sport but remained working for Mercedes.