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New Liveries for Mercedes F1 Team Designed to Highlight Diversity, Stand against Racism


Don’t look for the familiar Silver Arrows of the champion Mercedes Formula 1 team on the racetrack this season. The team has ditched its silver liveries in exchange for an all-black base for 2020.

The new liveries are designed to bring attention to diversity and inclusion in F1 and also to make a statement that the team is committed in its stand against discrimination and racism.

According to the team in a press release issued to kick off the first week of the season after a long delay due to the coronavirus pandemic, “In the past five weeks, the Black Lives Matter movement has shone a searching light on how much we need new measures and actions in the fight against racism and all forms of discrimination. 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.

“We are proud of our culture and our values. We prize the contribution of every individual, and our team members tell us that the experience within our team is an inclusive one. But in our organization, just 3% of our workforce identify as belonging to minority ethnic groups and only 12% of our employees are women. 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.”

To that, the team will race its new black-based livery.

A call to “End Racism” will be featured on the halo of both the team’s cars, and the F1 initiative #WeRaceAsOne will be featured on the mirrors of the W11 cars of both champion Lewis Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas.

“Racism and discrimination have no place in our society, our sport or our team: This is a core belief at Mercedes,” Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said. “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.

“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.”

Hamilton has been active in bringing attention to social causes during the sport’s shutdown. He announced the formation of The Hamilton Commission, a research partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineering dedicated to exploring how motorsport can be used to engage more young Black people with STEM subjects and ultimately employ them on the sport’s teams or in other engineering sectors.

Hamilton and Bottas will sport black firesuits and new helmet designs for the 2020 season.

“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,” Hamilton said. “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.”

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