Reigning F1 world champions Mercedes have announced that their F1 cars—piloted by Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas—will be decked out in black for the 2020 season. The new design choice comes as part of the team’s stand against racism and discrimination, along with Mercedes’ promise to “improve the diversity of the team”.
According to Formula1, only three percent of the team are from minority ethnic groups, while the ratio of men-to-women is also heavily skewed at 12 percent. However, Team Principal Toto Wolff says that the team wants to use its position as a global brand to speak out:
“Racism and discrimination have no place in our society, our sport or our team: this is a core belief of Mercedes. But having the right beliefs and the right mindset isn’t enough if we remain silent. We wish to use our voice and our global platform to speak up for respect and equality, and the Silver Arrow will race in black for the entire 2020 season to show our commitment to greater diversity within our team and our sport.”
Additionally, Wolff admits that the team has a “weakness in this area”, and much progress has to be made. As such, the black livery for Mercedes’ cars during the 2020 season will be a public pledge to take “positive action”, and a diversity and inclusion programme will be announced at some point during the current season.
The black theme isn’t just limited to the F1 cars, however. Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes’ race drivers for the 2020 season, will also be donning black overalls for the rest of the season, while similar changes will be made to the drivers’ helmets. On the infamous halo of the cars, you’ll also see “End Racism”, while #WeRaceAsOne will be plastered across the side mirrors of Mercedes W11.
For some context. #WeRaceAsOne is an initiative that was set up to aid the fight against COVID-19, as well as racism and inequality. Meanwhile, a task force has also been set up by Formula 1 to “increase diversity and inclusion”.
The first Formula 1 race of 2020 is finally set to happen, with the Austrian Grand Prix pencilled in for the 5th of July 2020.
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