The Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 team has revealed an all-black livery for its 2020 cars to represent its “stand against racism and discrimination in all forms and a public pledge to further improve the diversity of our team and our sport”.
The German team, which normally races in its iconic silver, will use the black base colour for both its cars, driven by Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, throughout the coming season.
British driver Hamilton has spoken publicly about discrimination in recent weeks, calling on fellow drivers to not be silent in the fight against racism. He also attended Black Lives Matter protests.
In a statement accompanying the livery reveal, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team said that just three per cent of its workforce identify as belonging to minority ethnic groups, while just 12 per cent are women.
The statement added: “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.
“For 2020, we have chosen to race in an all-black base livery 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. The call to ‘End Racism’ will feature on the halo of both cars, and the united F1 initiative #WeRaceAsOne will be featured on the mirrors of the W11.”
The organisation has also pledged to announce a diversity and inclusion programme that will improve communication with its team members, analyse its employment processes, and create education initiatives to encourage talented people from under-represented backgrounds.
Toto Wolff, team principal and CEO of the Mercedes-AMG F1 team, said: “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. 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. 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, in order to build a stronger and more diverse team in the future.
“I would also like to use this opportunity to thank our parent company Mercedes-Benz and our family of team partners who have supported and encouraged this initiative.”
Lewis Hamilton, who recently launched a research partnership to find ways to engage more people from Black backgrounds with STEM subjects, 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. 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.”
Both Hamilton and Bottas will race in black overalls for the 2020 season and will also adapt their helmet designs appropriately.