Mercedes will run an all-black base livery on its 2020 W11 as the reigning world champions take a strong stand and pledge their support for greater diversity and inclusion in the sport.
Events of late in America, sparked by the death last month in Minneapolis of George Floyd, brought the Black Lives Matter movement and its fight against racial injustice to the fore once again.
Spurred on by Lewis Hamilton’s activism against racism and the six-time world champion’s criticism of F1’s lack of diversity, the sport introduced last week its #WeRaceAsOne initiative.
But Mercedes has now also committed to promoting diversity and inclusion, while making a clear statement against racism by switching the livery of its W11 from silver to an all-black base livery for the entire 2020 campaign.
But the German squad’s initiative won’t be just cosmetic as it announced in a statement released on Monday.
“Before the end of this season, we will announce a Diversity and Inclusion programme that will include but not be limited to: continuing to listen to and raise the awareness of our team members; forensic analysis of our recruitment and development processes; collaboration with the sport’s key stakeholders to improve accessibility to our sport; and targeted education initiatives to encourage and support talented people from under-represented backgrounds who aspire to reach F1.
“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 organisation, just three per cent 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.
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Toto Wolff, Team Principal & CEO of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team commented:
“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.”
The call to ‘End Racism’ will feature on the halo of both cars driven by Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas, and the united F1 initiative #WeRaceAsOne will be featured on the mirrors of the W11.
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