Mercedes explain decision to bring back silver livery after two years in black

2022 F1 season

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Toto Wolff says that Mercedes will adopt black as part of their permanent colour scheme after reverting to a traditional silver livery for 2022.

Mercedes have raced in their traditional silver paint scheme since their return to Formula 1 as a factory team in 2010, but have raced in a predominantly black livery over the last two seasons.

The change to black was prompted by a wave of protests against racial inequality in the spring of 2020, which led to Formula 1 itself to launch the ‘We Race As One’ programme designed to celebrate diversity and inclusion within the sport.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, a multiple world champion and one of the most internationally recognised black athletes, has been at the forefront of calls to increase diversity in Formula 1 and the Mercedes team itself, including people of colour, LGBTQ+ people and people of various religious and social backgrounds. In late 2020, Mercedes launched their Accelerate 25 programme, with the objective of ensuring that around one-in-four new hires to the team by the end of 2025 would be from recognised under-represented backgrounds.

Team principal, Toto Wolff, explained that the return to the traditional silver on the team’s W13 for the 2022 season was not an indication that Mercedes were letting off on their efforts to promote and celebrate diversity in the team.

“The black livery was a clear intent and a clear demonstration of our mission to become a more
diverse and inclusive team,” Wolff said “It has become part of our DNA, but the silver colour of the Silver Arrows is as much our DNA, it’s our history.”

Wolff explained that the team would adopt black as one of its team colours from this season. “As a team we have grown from the Silver Arrows to slowly becoming a more diverse and inclusive team and therefore our colours going forward will be silver and black,” he said.

Mercedes’ efforts to embrace diversity within the team were rooted in hiring “the very best” talent, Wolff says.

“Increasing the diversity of our team isn’t about meeting a quota,” he explained. “It’s about recruiting the very best people regardless of ethnicity, gender, religion and sexual orientation.

“Our work inspiring people who might otherwise think a career in engineering, technology or motorsport isn’t for them will widen the talent pool we have available. A diverse workforce drives performance.”

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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11 comments on “Mercedes explain decision to bring back silver livery after two years in black”

  1. They finally opened suggestion box and find request from Bottas hi made after his complaints that it’s hot in black car.
    It also looks like there is no red star for Niki Lauda.

    1. I think the red star for Niki is just under the roll hoop, the star nearest the driver?

      1. I think that is red E.

      2. Yes, it’s visible on pictures with drivers standing next to a car…

        1. You’re right, I was hoping to see it on the render but it was the E! Happy it’s on the studio launch car.

  2. They should paint it in vivid rainbow colours. That way they can solve all forms of discrimination and conflict in a single gesture. /s
    I wonder how many viewers even equated the livery with a diversity campaign.
    Seriously though, the silver is a good look. But red ones go faster ;-)

    1. The ironic part is that having the cars in one single colour that’s equated to one single race is everything but diversity. I call it narcissism.

      Anyway, the grey livery with cyan accents I find extremely bland. I wish there were some yellow/orange or even white accents to make it more lively.

      1. It was everything to placate the narcissist boy and enter a mediatic mob.

  3. Personally, I thought the black livery was one of the best we have seen on an F1 car in quite a long time, and I’m sorry it has gone. I can understand why, though, and the aesthetics are not very important to me.

    1. @drmouse Me too, they don’t need to explain why they reverted to silver/gray, we know it’s their corporate ‘colour.’ However black looks far better (or even black and the Petronas green). The silver is just drab, no way round it.

    2. Black liveries always look good in the studio, but awful on track. The Mercedes being no exception to that. Same for the all black 2015 McLaren.

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