The Mercedes Chairman, at the 1914 company AGM, declared: ‘It was decided for reasons of propaganda to win the 1914 French GP!’ This, being the only event of its kind had a prestige equalling that today of the World Championship and Le Mans put together. Mercedes (not yet merged with Benz) then romped home with a 1-2-3 win just a month before the start of World War I. The race, the 6th Grand Prix de l’Automobile-Club de France, was run just outside Lyon, and was won by Christian Lautenschlager. The revolutionary engine incorporated a single central shaft operating inclined valves through half-exposed rockers, the valve springs were wholly exposed and the 3 cams for each cylinder running in a semi-oil-tight box, a system duplicated by W.O. Bentley thereafter. The cylinders were bolted to the split crankcase so pressure to the piston pins came from a multi-plunger pump that supplied oil to the bearings and to the crankcase at a constant rate. Reliability excelled and steering and road holding was excellent. The front wheel hubs sat behind the axis of the kingpins to give positive trail rather than caster. The rear wheels cambered outwards by 1° 20′. There were 100 corners on a lap and an 11 mile straight. Since each car had a choice of 6 final drive ratios, Mercedes took no chances and must have taken 60 half shafts with them for final selection.