F1 announces new ‘#WeRaceAsOne’ initiative including anti-racism drive

2020 F1 season

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Formula 1 is launching a new initiative called ‘#WeRaceAsOne’ including a new rainbow logo which will feature on all cars when the season begins next week.

The programme recognises “the two major issues dominating society’s consciousness at this time, Covid-19 and inequality”, said the sport in a statement.

“We will use our opening race to thank people around the world for the incredible strength and fortitude they have shown against a global pandemic. Everyone from key workers through to families and individuals that have endured lockdown to tackle the virus deserve our thanks and gratitude.

“Equally we want to use our restart to show that we as a sporting community stand united against racism and are doing more to address inequality and diversity in Formula 1.”

The programme will be marked from the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix next week with the the launching of a new ‘F1 Rainbow’ in all the teams’ colours which will feature on every car and around the circuit.

F1 will also “take a stand against racism” during the race weekend. “This will include visual displays of support in the fight against racism,” said F1. “In addition to the visual display of support we will also announce later this week clear pledges to increase diversity and opportunity in our sport.”

Part of the initiative will involve the creation of a task force to gather feedback from those inside and outside the paddock, including drivers, “and make conclusions on the actions required to improve the diversity and opportunity in Formula 1 at all levels.”

F1 intends the programme to make a long-term difference to the development of the sport. “It will not be a one week or one-year theme that disappears as issues disappear from headlines, it will underpin the Formula 1 strategy to make a tangible difference in our sport and society.”

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Lewis Hamilton has spoken out strongly against racism in recent weeks following the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement in response to the death of George Floyd in America. The reigning world champion last weekend announced his plans for The Hamilton Commission to promote diversity in motor racing.

On Sunday Hamilton shared images of himself attending an anti-racism demonstration in London. “Went down to Hyde Park today for the peaceful protest and I was so proud to see in person so many people of all races and backgrounds supporting this movement,” he said. “It was really moving. I’m feeling extremely positive that change will come, but we cannot stop now.”

Formula 1 chairman and CEO Chase Carey said: “Our first race in Austria at the start of July is a big moment for our sport after nearly four months of no racing. While it is an important moment for the Formula 1 community it is also a time to recognise the issues that are bigger than any one sport or country.

“The ‘#WeRaceAsOne’ initiative we have launched today, in support of the ‘#PurposeDriven’ Movement launched by the FIA last week, is our way of saying thank you to the bravery and unity everyone around the world has shown during this unprecedented time. It will also be a platform for Formula 1 to come together and achieve results against the most important issues facing us as a sport and the world.

“That is why at our first race in Austria Formula 1 will stand united to say loud and clear that racism must end.”

Several F1 teams have already voiced their backing for the initiative. “We fully support Formula 1 on the ‘#WeRaceAsOne’ campaign as we return to racing,” said McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown.

“Formula 1 and McLaren have a truly worldwide audience, and we recognise that our return to the track is a huge opportunity for our sport to make an impact at a global level, helping those most affected by the Covid-19 crisis and standing together against the blight of racism, as we work steadfastly to build an even stronger culture of diversity, inclusion and equality in our team and our sport.”

McLaren with #WeRaceAsOne branding
McLaren with #WeRaceAsOne branding
Renault with #WeRaceAsOne branding
Renault with #WeRaceAsOne branding

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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25 comments on “F1 announces new ‘#WeRaceAsOne’ initiative including anti-racism drive”

  1. Rainbow?
    I don’t have anything against it, but…
    It is fully associated with LGBTQ, and completely misses the point in regards to racial equality.

    I am all for F1’s actions on problems of equality, but this looks to be another example of “actions before thought”.

    1. Obviously this is about pandemic that effect everyone, but since black lives matter, they use rainbow because there’s can be only one race. For sure.

    2. No its not.

    3. You probably didn’t read the article before commenting, @dallein.

      The programme recognises “the two major issues dominating society’s consciousness at this time, Covid-19 and inequality”, said the sport in a statement.

      And I understand they first considered using interlocked coloured rings but were afraid some fans might associate that with the Olympic Games.

      1. You mean – they would get denied access to use coloured rings, as they are a protected trademark of the IOC.

      2. I have read the article.

        And I stand by my words – the symbol of Rainbow doesn’t have anything to do with any inequalities except LGBTQ.

        It is a very poor choice, if they wished to highlight All inequalities.

        1. Actually the rainbow in this F1 promo has 7 colours.
          The gay one has 6.

    4. @dallein In the UK, rainbows are associated with gratitude to the NHS and essential workers.

      LGBTQ+ is a type of inequality, and the other part of the campaign is about opposing inequalities. (Note that it has a wide variety of colours, and it doesn’t match any particular LGBTQ+ identity).

      Rainbow was about the only symbol they could have picked that (vaguely) works for both parts of the campaign.

  2. How low western society world go with it’s hypocrisy. And the fact that you are feeling any mention of billions of poor people around the world only process it well.

    1. They will have to remove their logo for the Chinese, Bahraini and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix anyway further highlighting their patheticness. I highly doubt these countries want rainbow logos all around their GPs.

      1. Nik (@nickelodeon81)
        22nd June 2020, 11:12

        Why? This “rainbow” is simply the colours of all ten teams.

        1. The sponsors and broadcasters won’t be that easily fooled.

          1. Nik (@nickelodeon81)
            22nd June 2020, 11:42

            Have any of the sponsors or broadcasters threatened to pull out over this?

      2. @xenomorph91 – That’s the key point with all of this for me. Either F1 is serious about this and will ensure these logos are prominently displayed at all GPs or it is a cheap PR stunt and they’ll remove them for view when they show up in certain countries.

        Time will tell.

      3. I think you forgot about the Russian GP there @regs.

      4. @xenomorph91 Not really, given it’s 50% of the logo F1 was using in all of those countries for the “start of official F1 broadcast” ident between 2007 and 2016. Nobody objected to the full circle version (which was used in all 3 of the cited nations), halving it wouldn’t be objectionable either. Any attempt to protest it would not stand up in court.

  3. Only proves*

  4. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    22nd June 2020, 12:29

    Not sure about this. I get the good place its coming from and I’m for its intentions but using the rainbow as a direct logo despite its symbolism for the LGBTQ community’s not a good idea. For a minority group, that symbol represents allyship and understanding – it’s safety in some ways that we can be authentic selves without fear of judgement or persecution. There’s mention of fighting racism and inequality in that mission statement but no mention of LGBTQ, despite using a logo syonymous with them. Going on it ‘taking a stand against racism’, it’s not even the rainbow flag that adopted the black and brown stripes.

    1. William Jones
      22nd June 2020, 12:43

      I agree with this, I feel had they made it look a lot more like a corner on a circuit, and maybe ended the stripes at different places to really hammer home the trail of a car then they would have a unique icon to represent their initiate.

      And look at it on the McLaren, that’s not even the team colours, and there’s only 7 stripes.

  5. Maybe the front line workers dealing with the pandemic, the ecological warriors, half a dozen gods, the peace movements across many countries around the world, every child, dozens of different cultures through time and the LGBTQ movement can all argue amongst themselves about who has the rights to a rainbow?

    1. William Jones
      22nd June 2020, 13:04

      Front line workers – Not a multi-billion dollar corporation
      Eco Warriors – Not a multi-billion dollar corporation
      Gods – Not a multi-billion dollar corporation
      Children – Not a multi-billion dollar corporation
      Doxens of extinct cultures – Not a multi-billion dollar corporation
      LGBTQ movement – Not a multi-billion dollar corporation
      F1 – One of these things is not like the others.

      1. William Jones
        22nd June 2020, 13:11

        Interestingly, the rainbow appears once in Christianity (before someone points out that it is in fact a multi-billion dollar corporation) – and in the greek and abrahamic original texts, the word used translates to “bow” as in bow and arrow, not “rainbow”.

        There is a similar story, of a great flood and a man who built a boat to save his family and his animals from the gods wrath, and when the floods start to subside, he held his bow over his head in victory. His name was Gilgamesh, famed in part for his war bow.

  6. Jose Lopes da Silva
    22nd June 2020, 17:27

    It did not ocurred to me that this could be interpreted as a LGBT symbol.
    But I also did not see the proper F1 in the previous F1 logo, so the problem is likely on me.
    Maybe it’s because I’m not scared about LGBT and I don’t care that much.

    1. Maybe it’s because I’m not scared about LGBT

      ;)

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