Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Sochi Autodrom, 2021

Hamilton not against Mercedes dropping black livery for ‘Silver Arrows’ return

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says he would have no issue with Mercedes returning to a silver livery for the 2022 F1 season.

In brief

Hamilton didn’t expect black Mercedes livery to “last particularly long”

In an interview last year Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff appeared to suggest 2021 would be the final year for Mercedes’ black anti-racism livery which was introduced at the beginning of last season.

Hamilton, who instigated the change of livery in a discussion with Wolff last year, said he isn’t against the team switching back, as the team’s diversity programmes will continue.

“I don’t have a particular feeling towards it,” said Hamilton. “I’m obviously not involved in that particularly right now for next year and it is originally a ‘Silver Arrows’.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020
Mercedes last ran in silver during pre-season testing in 2020
“I did expect, when I asked if we could make the car black last year in terms of the symbolism and what we intend to do moving forward in terms of support, I wasn’t expecting it to last particularly long and we carried it into a second season, which is awesome.

“If it goes back it would be a nice change and it doesn’t deter us from the changes that we are making internally as we continue to truly push for diversity, even working with all our partners.

“Just the other day with UBS we had these young kids come, trying to inspire the next generation of engineers of all different backgrounds. We’ve got a good programme going, so it doesn’t make a difference.”

Ricciardo reprimanded for Stroll incident

Daniel Ricciardo was issued a reprimand by the stewards for blocking Lance Stroll during qualifying. The stewards’ verdict said that although Ricciardo clearly did impede Stroll, it was related to a mistake made by the McLaren team, who believed Stroll to be on a slow lap.

The decision said “The stewards compared this situation to every other impeding case for the past two and a half seasons. The stewards believed this bordered on ‘unnecessary impeding’ hence was a breach of the rules and therefore required a penalty, however, considering all the circumstances, it was felt a reprimand was the most appropriate and consistent penalty.”

McLaren and Ricciardo were warned that further sanctions would apply if the error was repeated.

F3 standings affected by lack of Saturday race

Formula 3 dropped one of its trio of Sochi races
Following the decision to restrict Formula 3’s final race weekend of the 2021 season to only one reverse-grid race and the qualifying-decided race on Sunday, two drivers have been mathematically eliminated from the hunt for second place and three from competing for third.

If 44 points had still been available, following yesterday’s first race of the weekend, Clement Novalak, Victor Martins and Frederik Vesti would have been able to overhaul Jack Doohan for second place in the standings. However, with a maximum of 27 points now available, only Novalak is within range of Doohan’s total.

Leclerc used qualifying running to work on Ferrari’s wet weather weakness

Charles Leclerc participated in Q1 and Q2, despite knowing that he will start from the back of the grid due to power unit penalties, to gather wet running data for Ferrari.

“I actually wanted to do quite a bit of laps in those conditions,” said Leclerc. “I think it’s conditions where we’ve been struggling in the past. So even though it seems like it’s only five laps, it’s five laps where we can learn a lot and I think we did today.

“We were also very competitive in the last five laps. So we didn’t put the second set off of tyres in Q1, just to not take too much risk, but we’ve learnt a little bit, which was the goal with this lap. So now we’re focussed on the race tomorrow. It’s not going to be an easy one.

“Of course, because these are conditions that you don’t find very often in the season and even though we’ve had them a bit more often this season than than others.

“But I think it’s a good opportunity for us, every time you have those conditions to get out and do some mileage, considering that not so consistent in those conditions. So, yes, even though it was normally a useless session for us, I think we’ve learnt.”

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Comment of the day

After Max Verstappen said that George Russell’s qualifying results show that the Williams car is not as bad as people often think it is, Ben Rowe assesses what that means for where the team really stands.

I think several things about Russell and Williams.

I think that if people rate him as a top driver, and Latifi as one of the worst, then that car has to be right up in the midfield now or Latifi simply wouldn’t be doing as well as he is. Latifi did indeed have one good lap early on in Q1, which was good enough to get through. And what is interesting is that Russell had his first attempt as well as two more, and he still couldn’t beat Latifi’s time despite the track improving considerably. It isn’t the only wet/damp race or qualifying where Latifi looked very good alongside Russell. I think the car is actually very solid in the wet and it certainly very capable of Q3. Russell’s performances are still outstanding, but I’m actually not as convinced that he will have beaten Latifi by much at all.

I get more annoyed with people effectively saying things like how amazing it is that such a time can be done “in a Williams”. Many keep making it seem like it is still the worst team on the grid. The team has made a huge step forward this season and I still keep seeing jokes about how slow the car is such as these silly YouTube videos that make the Williams look much slower than it is. It may not always be where it is in the wet, but it isn’t a back marker any more.

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On this day in motorsport

  • 25 years ago today Damon Hill , who was on course to win the world championship for Williams but had learned he would be dropped by the team, signed for backmarkers Arrows

Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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21 comments on “Hamilton not against Mercedes dropping black livery for ‘Silver Arrows’ return”

  1. Regarding cotd
    Every British driver is godlike in the press /media.
    You need a bad car to do extraordinary things, so this bad car is invented.
    Nevertheless George delivers every time. And beating the factory Mercedes with a 7 time wdc two times, is no small feat

    1. Just remember that now its cool to bash russell, that if you keep making out hes not that great then it will be super embarrassing for a so called great when Russell beats him next year

      1. Apart from the fact HAM is now approaching the age Schumacher lost his edge too – it’s natural.

        Let’s not act like age is a benefit to any driver. HAM will no doubt retire soon.

  2. COTD: 100%

  3. Cotd +1, drivers cannot defy physics.

    George is considered a top driver, because he does it so often.. But the car is capable of that, and there is no reason second driver cannot do similar laptime.

    As for Black Arrow-Silver Arrow Mercedes debate? What are they thinking?

    Painting it black will end racism?

    They should be worried about that Orange McLaren, Red Ferrari and White Williams.

    Now they can talk all they want, but their pitcrew is mostly white male, they want to appear woke, and inclusive by coloring their car…

    Why bother. I thought Mercedes is about small gains, endless stream of small improvements.

    Coloring the car probably does 0 to end racism, they should apply some science to the problem, and actually do something.

    1. True, but here you are talking about it. Raising awareness can never be underestimated!

    2. @jureo
      Mercedes don’t believe the colour of a car will affect massive structural social change, it was a show of support to the driver in it as he attempted to get the motorsport world to take a specific issue seriously.

      1. Excellent point.

        Making their lead driver more comfortable does aid performance.

        Though their other driver complained, black livery and overalls were hot in the sun.

  4. The car should be brown to show that it’s not all about black or white for diversity’s sake

    1. I think it should be a different color every race to be safe, otherwise some-one might feel insulted

      1. @balue @Mayrton Except that is not what it is about, is it, you’re just pretending to not understand it.

        Hamilton requested the livery change specifically as a show in support of Black Lives Matter. It is specifically about black lives. One of the nice things about true diversity is that we’re able to talk about issues like adults, without whatabouting it by pretending that we think something has to be about everything.

        The livery is about black lives. So it’s black. Don’t insult yourselves publicly by attempting to pretend this is too complicated for you.

        1. As a contributor to this site you could do without the last (and first) sentence.

          Lead by example.
          Take the high road.

        2. @hazelsouthwell And now it’s about diversity. Don’t insult yourselves publicly by attempting to pretend this is too complicated for you.

        3. @hazelsouthwell

          Don’t waste your time. The people that actually respect and understand the gesture wouldn’t make such comments.

          Just a negative example of the downside of anonymity on the internet.

      2. Not sure whether I’m surprised or not that whilst Hamilton is not that bothered about the colour of the car going forward, certain posters are.

        1. ian dearing’s endless concern with other posters..

          1. Balue’s endless attempts to sound knowledgeable and turn everything into a HAM / MERC dialogue.


          2. @theswift And another Hamilton fan doing personal attacks. Seems it’s all you got. It’s quite pathetic.

          3. Coming from someone who can’t sleep without thinking about his next negative HAM / MERC post.

            100 wins, you’ve just witnessed history, enjoy.

  5. COTD: Yup. The hype of Russell in a Williams is the new Alonso in a Ferrari. The car cannot be that bad.

  6. No more will my green seagull turn a deeper blue.

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