Mercedes have announced that they will race in a new black livery for the 2020 season as part of a pledge to fight discrimination, racism and to improve diversity in Formula One. Alongside the livery, the team also unveiled a host of measures they are taking within their organisation as part of their campaign.?
Lewis Hamilton, who is going for a record-equaling seventh world title in 2020 with the team, said that it was about building a "legacy" that goes beyond the sport and their actions will send "such a strong message" and give others the confidence to enact change.?
Hamilton has recently spoken out on issues of racism and diversity in F1 and beyond, in the wake of the rise to prominence of the Black Lives Matter movement. Last week he?heavily criticised Bernie Ecclestone for saying that "in lots of cases, black people are more racist than white people are."?
The British-based German team have traditionally raced in varying shades of silver, a nod to the Silver Arrows nickname they acquired in the?1930s. With the first race of a delayed season — it will be over seven months since the last race of 2019 — taking place this Sunday in Austria, Mercedes unveiled their new dark livery on Twitter.?
In a statement, Hamilton said: “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.
"I have personally experienced racism in my life and seen my family and friends experience racism, and I am speaking from the heart when I appeal for change."
Meanwhile,?Team Principal Toto Wolff said that racism and discrimination ?"have no place in our society, our sport or our team: this is a core belief at Mercedes. But having the right beliefs and the right mindset isn’t enough if we remain silent."
In a longer post on the team's website, Mercedes outlined the steps that they will be taking to help improve representation in their organisation,?in which they say just three?per cent identify as belonging to a minority ethnic group and is 88 per cent male.?
"As a team, we have used the past weeks to listen to the perspectives of our team members, to learn and to reflect on our team as it is today and how we want it to be in the future."
"This lack of diversity shows that we need to find new approaches to attract talent from many areas of society we do not currently reach. We know that our team will be stronger if we can attract talents from the broadest possible pool and we are committed to achieving this through positive action."
The car's halo device will feature a call to "End Racism" and the sport's new #WeRaceAsOne inclusion initiative will be on both wing mirrors of the W11.
There will also be a diversity program from the team, starting before the end of the season, that will continue to "listen and raise awareness" of team members, a "forensic analysis" of their recruitment processes and working with the sport to improve accessibility and helping those from under-represented backgrounds.?