Born in Stuttgart, Germany, on 23 February 1928, he was one of a squad of successful racing drivers with whom Daimler-Benz AG returned to Grand Prix motor racing in the 1950s. His career began at the 1952 Hessischer Winterfahrt race. In the same year he won the gold medal in his category at the ADAC Deutschlandfahrt. From 1954, he used his skills as a works driver in the new Mercedes-Benz Formula One team. He broke the lap record at the French Grand Prix, his first Formula One racing, and made it onto the winners’ podium at both the Swiss Grand Prix and the Avus Race.
In 1955, he crashed at the Monaco Grand Prix. When he came out of hospital he was no longer required by the Mercedes-Benz team, which had since withdrawn from motor racing. Herrmann then raced mainly for Porsche and ended his career in 1970 with a victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.