Mercedes unveil all-black livery in anti-racism message
The season, delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, will commence this weekend with the Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, the only black driver to race in F1, favourite to defend his title for a seventh world championship.Updated: Jun 29, 2020 23:42 IST
Formula One world champions Mercedes, dubbed the ‘Silver Arrows’, said on Monday they will race in an all-black livery in the 2020 Formula One championship to express solidarity against racism.
The season, delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, will commence this weekend with the Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, the only black driver to race in F1, favourite to defend his title for a seventh world championship.
“I have personally experienced racism and seen my family and friends experience racism,” said Hamilton, who has won five of his six titles with Mercedes. “It’s so important that we seize this moment and use it to educate ourselves whether you are an individual, brand or company to make real meaningful changes when it comes to ensuring equality and inclusivity.”
We will race in black in 2020, as a public pledge to improve the diversity of our team – and a clear statement that we stand against racism and all forms of discrimination. 👇— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) June 29, 2020
The step by Mercedes is part of sport’s global response in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis, USA, in May after a white police officer knelt on his neck.
Hamilton, 35, joined a recent “Black Lives Matter” demonstration in London and announced the formation of the Hamilton Commission, a research partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineering dedicated to explore how motorsport can be used to engage more young people from black background and ultimately bring them into F1.
The Briton had condemned former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone’s comments on racism last week as “ignorant and uneducated”. The sport distanced itself from the 89-year-old’s comments made in an interview with CNN, where Ecclestone said “in lots of cases, black people are more racist than what white people are”.
DIVERSITY IN F1
Mercedes, who have won every constructors’ and drivers’ title since 2014, declared that only three percent of their workforce belongs to minority ethnic groups with women making only 12 percent of the employees, pledging to improve diversity within the team.
The team will also conduct a diversity and inclusion programme that will do a forensic analysis of recruitment and support talent. “We intend to find and attract the very best talents from the broadest possible range of backgrounds and to create credible pathways for them to reach our sport, to build a stronger and more diverse team in the future,” Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said.
Both Hamilton and Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas will race in black overalls with ‘End Racism’ featuring on the halo of the cars and the F1 initiative #WeRaceAsOne on the mirrors.