As the start of the 2020 Formula 1 season draws even closer, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team has now made an important announcement: It will race in an all-black base livery for the entire season as it takes a stand against racism and all forms of discrimination.
The halo of both Mercedes-AMG race cars will feature a call to ‘End Racism,’ while the mirrors of the W11 will bear the F1’s #WeRaceAsOne initiative.
In addition, the team recognizes its own lack of diversity as only 3% of its employees belong to minority ethnic groups, and women make uo only 12% of its total workforce. As a result, it has revealed its new ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ program that will be formally announced before the end of the season. It ultimately aims to improve accessibility to the sport as well as to encourage and support talents from underrepresented backgrounds who have F1 aspirations.
“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,” said team principal and CEO Toto Wolff. “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. We will not shy away from our weaknesses in this area, nor from the progress we must still make; our livery is our public pledge to take positive action.”
“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,” said six-time F1 champion and Mercedes-AMG driver Lewis Hamilton. “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.
“When I spoke to Toto about my hopes for what we could achieve as a team, I said it was so important that we stand united. I would like to say a huge thank you to Toto and the Mercedes Board for taking the time to listen, to talk, and to really understand my experiences and passion, and for making this important statement that we are willing to change and improve as a business. We want to build a legacy that goes beyond sport, and if we can be the leaders and can start building more diversity within our own business, it will send such a strong message and give others the confidence to begin a dialogue about how they can implement change.”
“Formula 1 is a world that is defined by performance, but it still contains many barriers for people who come from backgrounds that haven’t traditionally been part of the sport,” said Mercedes-AMG driver Valtteri Bottas. “We know that our teams are stronger when they are more representative of the society we are part of, and it is important for us to be united and show our commitment to change. Racism and discrimination have no place in our sport or in our society, and I am proud to stand with the team, with Lewis, and with Mercedes-Benz in making this important statement.”
In addition to the black racing liveries, both Hamilton and Bottas will wear black overalls for the entire 2020 season.