Mercedes-Benz in Formula One
Mercedes-Benz, through its subsidiary Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Limited, is involved in Formula One as a constructor under the name of Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport. The team is based in Brackley, United Kingdom, using a German licence. Mercedes-Benz competed in the pre-war European Championship winning three titles and debuted in Formula One in 1954, running a team for two years; the team is known by their nickname, the "Silver Arrows". After winning their first race at the 1954 French Grand Prix, driver Juan Manuel Fangio won another three Grands Prix to win the 1954 Drivers' Championship and repeated this success in 1955. Despite winning two Drivers' Championships, Mercedes-Benz withdrew from motor racing in response to the 1955 Le Mans disaster and did not return to Formula One until rejoining as an engine supplier in association with Ilmor, a British independent high-performance autosport engineering company acquired by Mercedes, in 1994. In addition to its factory team, Mercedes supplies engines to Racing Point and Williams.
The manufacturer has collected more than 160 wins as engine supplier and is ranked fourth in Formula One history. Six Constructors' and ten Drivers' Championships have been won with Mercedes-Benz engines. Mercedes has become one of the most successful teams in recent Formula One history, having achieved consecutive Drivers' and Constructors' Championships from 2014 to 2018. In 2014, Mercedes managed 11 one-two finishes beating McLaren's 1988 record of 10; the record was extended the following year with 12 one-two finishes. Mercedes collected 16 victories in 2014 and 2015 apiece breaking McLaren and Ferrari's record of 15. In 2016, they extended this record with 19 wins. Mercedes-Benz competed in Grand Prix motor racing in the 1930s, when the Silver Arrows dominated the races alongside rivals Auto Union. Both teams were funded by the Nazi regime, winning all European Grand Prix Championships after 1934, of which Rudolf Caracciola won three for Mercedes-Benz. In 1954, Mercedes-Benz returned to what was now known as Formula One under the leadership of Alfred Neubauer, using the technologically advanced Mercedes-Benz W196.
The car was run in both the conventional open-wheeled configuration and a streamlined form, which featured covered wheels and wider bodywork. Juan Manuel Fangio, the 1951 champion, transferred mid-season from Maserati to Mercedes-Benz for their debut at the French Grand Prix on 4 July 1954; the team had immediate success and recorded a 1–2 victory with Fangio and Karl Kling, as well as the fastest lap. Fangio went on winning the championship; the success continued into the 1955 season, with Mercedes-Benz developing the W196 throughout the year. Mercedes-Benz again dominated the season, with Fangio taking four races, his new teammate Stirling Moss winning the British Grand Prix. Fangio and Moss finished second in that year's championship; the 1955 disaster at the 24 Hours of Le Mans on 11 June, which killed Mercedes-Benz sportscar driver Pierre Levegh and more than 80 spectators led to the cancellations of the French, German and Swiss Grands Prix. At the end of the season, the team withdrew including Formula One.
The Mercedes name returned to Formula One for the 2010 season after their owners, Daimler AG, bought a minority stake in the Brawn GP team with Aabar Investments purchasing 30% on 16 November 2009, with Ross Brawn continuing his duties as team principal and the team retaining its base and workforce in Brackley, close to the Mercedes-Benz Formula One engine plant in Brixworth. Following the purchase of the team, as well as a sponsorship deal with Petronas, the team was rebranded as Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team; the team has a complex history. BAR, who had formed a partnership with Honda became Honda Racing F1 Team in 2006 when BAT withdrew from the sport, it again changed hands in 2008, when Honda withdrew, was purchased by the team's management, naming it Brawn GP after team principal Ross Brawn. Brawn used engines from Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines, despite running on a low budget, Jenson Button won six of the first seven races and the 2009 Drivers' Championship, while Brawn won the Constructors' Championship.
It was the first time in the sport's sixty-year history that a team won both titles in its maiden season. The team hired German drivers Nico Rosberg, seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, who returned to Formula One after a three-year absence, Nick Heidfeld as the test and reserve driver. Of Brawn's 2009 drivers, Jenson Button signed for McLaren, whilst Rubens Barrichello moved to Rosberg's former seat with Williams team for 2010. With the acquisition of Brawn, the team ended its involvement with McLaren, parent company Daimler AG sold back the 40% shareholding in the McLaren Group, while continuing to supply engines to the team; the team's performance during 2010 was not so competitive as under Brawn, with the team behind the leading three teams of Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull. Their best results came from Rosberg finishing on the podium three times, scoring third places at Sepang and Silverstone. Rosberg finished in seventh place, but Schumacher had a disappointing return, being beaten by his teammate and finishing the season without a single race win, pole position, or fastest lap for the first time since his début season in 1991.
He was involved in a controversy in Hungary aft
Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is a motorsport race track in Montmeló, Spain. With long straights and a variety of corners, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is seen as an all-rounder circuit; the track has stands with a capacity of 140,700. The circuit has FIA Grade 1 license; until 2013 the track was known only as the Circuit de Catalunya, before a sponsorship deal with Barcelona City Council added Barcelona to the track's title. The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was built in 1991 and began hosting the Spanish Grand Prix that same year. Construction coincided with the Olympic Games scheduled to take place in Barcelona the next year, where the circuit acted as the start and finish line for the road team time trial cycling event; the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya should not be confused with the Montjuïc circuit, which hosted the Spanish Grand Prix four times between 1969 and 1975 and, unlike the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, is located within the city of Barcelona. Because so much testing is done at this circuit, Formula One drivers and mechanics are familiar with it.
This has led to criticism that drivers and mechanics are too familiar with Catalunya, reducing the amount of on-track action. When first used, overtaking was frequent as cars could follow through the last two corners and slipstream down the long straight; as aerodynamic balance became more critical, this overtaking method drastically decreased as the cars were unable to follow each other through the fast final corner due to turbulence created by the leading car. The 2007 season saw the first of the two final sweepers replaced with a slow chicane in an effort to improve overtaking; the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has hosted a motorcycle Grand Prix since 1992 the European motorcycle Grand Prix from 1992 and the Catalan motorcycle Grand Prix since 1996. There are at least five points on the track; as in Formula 1, Turn 1 is arguably the most popular place for overtaking. The circuit is not known to produce copious amounts of overtaking, despite the long straights; the Formula 1 circuit changes were not instituted for MotoGP.
The FIM made a further change to the chicane for 2017 by moving up the chicane to prevent riders from cutting the pit lane entrance, but, abandoned because the motorcycle chicane had a surface change that created more safety issues with the transition. Further changes were made to the circuit in December 2017 as grandstands were removed to add additional runoff that allowed the FIM to eliminate that chicane; the circuit hosted many other international racing series, including the FIA Sportscar Championship, European Touring Car Championship, FIA GT Championship, Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, European Le Mans Series, World Series by Renault. The FIA World Rallycross Championship visits Catalunya since 2015; the track is demanding of a car's aerodynamic qualities. The wind direction at the circuit can change drastically during the day, a significant factor given the importance of aerodynamics to modern Formula One cars, it is hard to find a good setup since cars can have massive aerodynamic drag and understeer on one part of the circuit in the morning, but suffer oversteer at the same part of the circuit in the afternoon.
A given tyre compound can work well. These changeable conditions can make for unexpected performances from some teams during the race; the changeable wind conditions have caused accidents at the circuit, with Fernando Alonso's testing accident in 2015 blamed on the severity of the wind. The MotoGP layout uses the 1995-2003 version of the Grand Prix circuit; the layout was the same as Formula One, but in 2004 the La Caixa turn was modified. The F1 layout was implemented in 2016 following the fatal accident of Luis Salom in Europcar on 3 June 2016 race control switched to the F1 circuit for qualifying and the race on 5 June 2016. On 15 December 2016, the FIM announced the change was permanent by announcing plans for a chicane ahead of the current car chicane. However, during the 2017 race, the new chicane was deemed dangerous by riders because of a surface change, the car chicane was used during that event. After changes to the track in the off-season including removing grandstands in Turn 12 in creating additional runoff and a complete repaving of the circuit, the F1 layout from 2004-06, including the new La Caixa hairpin instead of sweeper, will be used, eliminating the chicane.
The World RX of Spain uses parts of the track near turns 11–15, with two additional gravel sections. Turn 1 is the main overtaking point at Catalunya, as it is a braking zone at the end of a long DRS straight; the inside and outside are difficult for overtaking. The corners themselves make up a medium-speed chicane – drivers brake rather late for turn one and shift down to gear two, turn two is full throttle as they try to gain as much exit speed as possible. Turn 3 is a long, flat-out right-hander that has a g-force of about four, it leads to a short straight before turn 4, the Repsol curve. Another right-hander, turn four is similar to Monza's Curva Parabolica – drivers br
Spain the Kingdom of Spain, is a country located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula, its territory includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country. Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are part of Spanish territory; the country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar. With an area of 505,990 km2, Spain is the largest country in Southern Europe, the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, the fourth largest country in the European continent. By population, Spain is the fifth in the European Union. Spain's capital and largest city is Madrid. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago. Iberian cultures along with ancient Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian settlements developed on the peninsula until it came under Roman rule around 200 BCE, after which the region was named Hispania, based on the earlier Phoenician name Spn or Spania.
At the end of the Western Roman Empire the Germanic tribal confederations migrated from Central Europe, invaded the Iberian peninsula and established independent realms in its western provinces, including the Suebi and Vandals. The Visigoths would forcibly integrate all remaining independent territories in the peninsula, including Byzantine provinces, into the Kingdom of Toledo, which more or less unified politically and all the former Roman provinces or successor kingdoms of what was documented as Hispania. In the early eighth century the Visigothic Kingdom fell to the Moors of the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate, who arrived to rule most of the peninsula in the year 726, leaving only a handful of small Christian realms in the north and lasting up to seven centuries in the Kingdom of Granada; this led to many wars during a long reconquering period across the Iberian Peninsula, which led to the creation of the Kingdom of Leon, Kingdom of Castile, Kingdom of Aragon and Kingdom of Navarre as the main Christian kingdoms to face the invasion.
Following the Moorish conquest, Europeans began a gradual process of retaking the region known as the Reconquista, which by the late 15th century culminated in the emergence of Spain as a unified country under the Catholic Monarchs. Until Aragon had been an independent kingdom, which had expanded toward the eastern Mediterranean, incorporating Sicily and Naples, had competed with Genoa and Venice. In the early modern period, Spain became the world's first global empire and the most powerful country in the world, leaving a large cultural and linguistic legacy that includes more than 570 million Hispanophones, making Spanish the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese. During the Golden Age there were many advancements in the arts, with world-famous painters such as Diego Velázquez; the most famous Spanish literary work, Don Quixote, was published during the Golden Age. Spain hosts the world's third-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Spain is a secular parliamentary democracy and a parliamentary monarchy, with King Felipe VI as head of state.
It is a major developed country and a high income country, with the world's fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and sixteenth largest by purchasing power parity. It is a member of the United Nations, the European Union, the Eurozone, the Council of Europe, the Organization of Ibero-American States, the Union for the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Schengen Area, the World Trade Organization and many other international organisations. While not an official member, Spain has a "Permanent Invitation" to the G20 summits, participating in every summit, which makes Spain a de facto member of the group; the origins of the Roman name Hispania, from which the modern name España was derived, are uncertain due to inadequate evidence, although it is documented that the Phoenicians and Carthaginians referred to the region as Spania, therefore the most accepted etymology is a Semitic-Phoenician one.
Down the centuries there have been a number of accounts and hypotheses: The Renaissance scholar Antonio de Nebrija proposed that the word Hispania evolved from the Iberian word Hispalis, meaning "city of the western world". Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the term span is the Phoenician word spy, meaning "to forge metals". Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean "the land where metals are forged", it may be a derivation of the Phoenician I-Shpania, meaning "island of rabbits", "land of rabbits" or "edge", a reference to Spain's location at the end of the Mediterranean. The word in question means "Hyrax" due to Phoenicians confusing the two animals. Hispania may derive from the poetic use of the term Hesperia, reflecting the Greek perception of Italy as a "western land" or "land of the setting sun" (Hesperia
Juan Manuel Fangio
Juan Manuel Fangio Déramo, nicknamed El Chueco or El Maestro, was an Argentine racing car driver. He dominated the first decade of Formula One racing, winning the World Drivers' Championship five times. From childhood, he abandoned his studies to pursue auto mechanics. In 1938, he debuted in Turismo Carretera, competing in a Ford V8. In 1940, he competed with Chevrolet, winning the Grand Prix International Championship and devoted his time to the Argentine Turismo Carretera becoming its champion, a title he defended a year later. Fangio competed in Europe between 1947 and 1949 where he achieved further success, he won the World Championship of Drivers five times—a record which stood for 47 years until beaten by Michael Schumacher—with four different teams, a feat that has not been repeated. He is regarded by many as one of the greatest F1 drivers of all time and holds the highest winning percentage in Formula One – 46.15% – winning 24 of 53 Formula One races he entered. Fangio is the only Argentine driver to have won the Argentine Grand Prix, having won it four times in his career—the most of any driver.
After retirement, Fangio presided as the honorary president of Mercedes-Benz Argentina from 1987, a year after the inauguration of his museum, until his death in 1995. In 2011, on the centenary of his birth, Fangio was remembered around the world and various activities were held in his honor. Fangio's grandfather, Giuseppe Fangio, emigrated to Buenos Aires from Italy in 1887. Giuseppe managed to buy his own farm near Balcarce, a small city in southern Buenos Aires Province, within three years by making charcoal from tree branches, his father, emigrated to Argentina from the small central Italian town of Castiglione Messer Marino in the Chieti province of the Abruzzo region. His mother, Herminia Déramo, was from Tornareccio to the north, they married on 24 October 1903, lived on farms where Herminia was a housekeeper and Loreto worked in the building trade, becoming an apprentice stonemason. Fangio was born in Balcarce on San Juan's Day 1911 at 12:10 am, his birth certificate was mistakenly dated 23 June by the Register of Balcarce.
He was the fourth of six children. In his childhood he became known as El Chueco, the bandy legged one, for his skill in bending his left leg around the ball to shoot on goal during football games. Fangio started his education at the School No. 4 of Balcarce, Calle 13 before transferring to School No. 1 and 18 Uriburu Av. When Fangio was 13, he worked as an assistant mechanic; when he was 16, he started riding as a mechanic for his employer's customers. He developed pneumonia, which proved fatal, after a football game where hard running had caused a sharp pain in his chest, he was bed-ridden for two months, cared for by his mother. After recovering, Fangio served compulsory military service at the age of 21. In 1932 he was enlisted at the Campo de Mayo cadet school near Buenos Aires, his driving skills caught the attention of his commanding officer, who appointed Fangio as his official driver. Fangio was discharged before his 22nd birthday after taking his final physical examination, he returned to Balcarce.
Along with his friend José Duffard he received offers to play at a club based in Mar del Plata. Their teammates at Balcarce suggested the two work on Fangio's hobby of building his own car and his parents donated space in a small section of their home where a rudimentary shed was built. After finishing his military service, Fangio raced in local events, he began his racing career in Argentina in 1934, which he had rebuilt. These local events were unlike anything in Europe or North America, they were long-distance races held on dirt roads up and down South America. During his time racing in Argentina, he drove Chevrolet cars and was Argentine National Champion in 1940 and 1941. One particular race, which he won in 1940, the Gran Premio del Norte, was 10,000 km long; this race started in Buenos Aires and ran up through the Andes to Lima and back again, taking nearly two weeks with stages held each day. Following many successes driving modified American stock cars. In the Tourism Highway category, Fangio participated in his first race between 18 and 30 October 1938 as the co-pilot of Luis Finocchietti.
Despite not winning the Argentine Road Grand Prix, Fangio drove most of the way and qualified in seventh place. In November of that year, he entered the "400 km of Tres Arroyos ", but it was suspended due to a fatal accident. In 1939, the circuit was in Forest, which conformed well with his last involvement with a Ford V8. With Hector Tieri as his partner, they led Turismo Carretera that year with a Chevrolet, competing for the Argentine Grand Prix. Suspended by a strong rain and resumed in Cordoba, he managed their first stage victory, winning the fourth stage from Catamarca to San Juan. In October, after 9500 km of competition in Argentina and Peru, he won his first race in Turismo Carretera, the Grand Prix International North, he became the first TC Argentine Champion to have driven a Chevrolet. In 1941, he beat Oscar Gálvez in the Grand Prix Getúlio Vargas in Brazil. For the second time, Fangio was crowned champion of Argentine TC. In 1942, he ended South Grand Prix in tenth place in accordance with the general classification.
In April he won the race "Mar y Sierras" and had to suspend the mechanic
Bilbao is a city in northern Spain, the largest city in the province of Biscay and in the Basque Country as a whole. It is the largest city proper in northern Spain. Bilbao is the tenth largest city in Spain, with a population of 345,141 as of 2015; the Bilbao metropolitan area has 1 million inhabitants, making it one of the most populous metropolitan areas in northern Spain. Bilbao is the main urban area in what is defined as the Greater Basque region. Bilbao is situated in the north-central part of Spain, some 16 kilometres south of the Bay of Biscay, where the economic social development is located, where the estuary of Bilbao is formed, its main urban core is surrounded by two small mountain ranges with an average elevation of 400 metres. Its climate is shaped by the Bay of Biscay low-pressure systems and mild air, moderating summer temperatures by Iberian standards, with low sunshine and high rainfall; the annual temperature range is low for its latitude. After its foundation in the early 14th century by Diego López V de Haro, head of the powerful Haro family, Bilbao was a commercial hub of the Basque Country that enjoyed significant importance in Green Spain.
This was due to its port activity based on the export of iron extracted from the Biscayan quarries. Throughout the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, Bilbao experienced heavy industrialisation, making it the centre of the second-most industrialised region of Spain, behind Barcelona. At the same time an extraordinary population explosion prompted the annexation of several adjacent municipalities. Nowadays, Bilbao is a vigorous service city, experiencing an ongoing social and aesthetic revitalisation process, started by the iconic Bilbao Guggenheim Museum, continued by infrastructure investments, such as the airport terminal, the rapid transit system, the tram line, the Azkuna Zentroa, the under development Abandoibarra and Zorrozaurre renewal projects. Bilbao is home to football club Athletic Club de Bilbao, a significant symbol for Basque nationalism due to its promotion of only Basque players and one of the most successful clubs in Spanish football history. On 19 May 2010, the city of Bilbao was recognised with the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize, awarded by the city state of Singapore, in collaboration with the Swedish Nobel Academy.
Considered the Nobel Prize for urbanism, it was handed out on 29 June 2010. On 7 January 2013, its mayor, Iñaki Azkuna, received the 2012 World Mayor Prize awarded every two years by the British foundation The City Mayors Foundation, in recognition of the urban transformation experienced by the Biscayan capital since the 1990s. On 8 November 2017, Bilbao was chosen the Best European City 2018 at The Urbanism Awards 2018, awarded by the international organisation The Academy of Urbanism; the official name of the town is Bilbao, as known in most languages of the world. Euskaltzaindia, the official regulatory institution of the Basque language, has agreed that between the two possible names existing in Basque and Bilbo, the historical name is Bilbo, while Bilbao is the official name. Although the term Bilbo does not appear in old documents, in the play The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare, there is a reference to swords made of Biscayan iron which he calls "bilboes", suggesting that it is a word used since at least the sixteenth century.
There is no consensus among historians about the origin of the name. Accepted accounts state that prior to the 12th century the independent rulers of the territory, named Senores de Zubialdea, were known as Senores de Bilbao la Vieja; the symbols of their patrimony are the church used in the shield of Bilbao to this day. One possible origin was suggested by the engineer Evaristo de Churruca, he said. For Bilbao this would be the result of the union of the Basque words for river and cove: Bil-Ibaia-Bao; the historian José Tussel Gómez argues that it is just a natural evolution of the Spanish words bello vado, beautiful river crossing. On the other hand, according to the writer Esteban Calle Iturrino, the name derives from the two settlements that existed on both banks of the estuary, rather than from the estuary itself; the first, where the present Casco Viejo is located, would be called billa, which means stacking in Basque, after the configuration of the buildings. The second, on the left bank, where now Bilbao La Vieja is located, would be called vaho, Spanish for mist or steam.
From the union of these two derives the name Bilbao, written as Bilvao and Biluao, as documented in its municipal charter. An -ao ending is present in nearby Sestao and Ugao, that could be explained from Basque aho, "mouth"; the demonym is "bilbaíno, -a", although the popular pronunciation bilbaino/a is frequent. In euskera it is bilbotar, sometimes used in Spanish within the Basque Country; the village is affectionately known by its inhabitants as «the botxo», that is, «the hole», since it is surrounded by mountains. The nickname "botxero" is derived from this nickname. Another nickname that Bilbao receives is that of "chimbos", which comes from birds that were hunted in large numbers in these places during the XIX century; the titles, the flag and the coat of arms are Bilbao's traditional symbols and belong to its historic patrimony, being used in formal acts, for the identification and decoration of specific places or for the validation of documents. TitlesBilbao holds the historic category of borough, with the titles of "Very noble and loyal and unbeaten" ("Mu
Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection