STUTTGART, Germany – The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team has revealed the team is switching from its traditional silver livery to an all-black livery when the Formula One season begins this weekend in Austria.
The team switched liveries as part of a public pledge to improve the diversity of its race team and to make a clear statement that the organization stands against racism and all forms of discrimination. The call to ‘End Racism’ will be featured on the halo of both cars driven by reigning F-1 champion Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, and the united F1 initiative #WeRaceAsOne will be featured on the mirrors of the cars.
Hamilton and Bottas will also race in black uniforms this year, with both drivers also adapting their helmet designs.
“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,” said Toto Wolff, Team Principal & CEO of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team. “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.”
In addition, the team plans to announce a Diversity and Inclusion program before the end of the season 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 F-1.
Hamilton, an African American who has won six Formula One titles, recently 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 people from Black backgrounds with STEM subjects and ultimately employ them on our teams or in other engineering sectors.
“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.
“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 One 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 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.”