Mercedes has announced it will run an all-black base livery for the 2020 Formula 1 season as a public pledge to improve the diversity of the team.
Over the last handful of weeks, the Black Lives Matter movement has gained recognition around the world with protests calling for equality and social justice.
Lewis Hamilton, who is entering his eighth season with Mercedes, has been very outspoken on the matter on social media, urging other parties in F1 to speak up in support of the movement.
As part of the new black livery, the slogan 'End Racism' will feature on the halo of both cars, while the #WeRaceAsOne logo will be featured on the mirrors of the W11.
“Racism and discrimination have no place in our society, our sport or our team: this is a core belief at Mercedes,” said team principal Toto Wolff.
“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 backed the new-look car, and offered praise to Mercedes for understanding the issue and showing a willingness to make changes amid the situation.
“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,” he said. “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.”
Mercedes has also promised to launch a 'Diversity and Inclusion programme' by the end of the year that will see it continuing to listen to and raise the awareness of team members, carry out forensic analysis of the recruitment and development processes, collaborate with key stakeholders to improve F1's accessibility and target education initiatives to “encourage and support talented people from under-represented backgrounds who aspire to reach F1”.
Mercedes says three per cent of its organisation comes from minority ethnic groups while 12% are women.
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