Mercedes’ W11 has been seen in its new black livery ahead of the start of this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix.2020 F1 season. The change has come about to acknowledge the team’s desire to support the fight against racism and promote diversity. It carries the slogan ‘end racism’ on its Halo.
Lewis Hamilton has played an active and vocal role in encouraging others in Formula 1 to speak out against racism, and urged Mercedes to do more to take a stance on the matter following the killing of George Floyd in May.
“I think it is a shame that it’s taken another death of a black man in the States to kind of really kick-start this all,” he said in an FIA press conference ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix today.
“I’ve personally had to spend a lot time trying to also educate myself to make sure that I am fully up to date with everything that’s been past and what is present. I think it’s positive to see that the people are reacting and do want to see more people being more proactive.”
Formula 1 has also announced its own initiative to promotive diversity, called ‘#WeRaceAsOne’, which is being heavily promoted around the Red Bull Ring and on rival teams’ cars this weekend.
“I think Formula 1 have been great,” said Hamilton. “I spent a lot time on the phone with them, doing Zoom calls, talking about their plans and how we can move forwards united.
“I spent a lot of time talking with Mercedes and it’s great to see them on board and being part of this process of shifting and focussing on equality and inclusivity.”
Hamilton has repeatedly urged others in the sport to support the cause. “There are a lot of people that just take a moment to say something, to post Blackout Tuesday, but they’re not really doing much [else],” he said.
“I’ve definitely not heard anything from any of the other teams, as far as I’m aware. And the call-out was really for everyone in this industry.
“There’s so many great jobs here, there’s so many opportunities, but none so far, or very, very few opportunities been shown to minorities. And so I think that we really do have to push, more needs to be done for sure.
“But it is a starting point, and I won’t stop pushing until we really see change. Seeing one person of colour added to the paddock is not diversity.
“So we’ve really got to dig deep, we’ve really got to pull together and do what we can to shift this.”
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Pictures: New Mercedes ‘end racism’ livery
2020 F1 season
- Pictures: Wrecked chassis from Grosjean’s Bahrain fireball crash to go on display
- Bottas vs Rosberg: Hamilton’s Mercedes team mates compared after 78 races each
- F1 revenues fell by $877 million in Covid-struck 2020 season
- Hamilton and Mercedes finally announce new deal for 2021 season
- F1 audience figures “strong” in 2020 despite dip in television viewers