F1: Mercedes’ 2020 livery will show commitment to Black Lives Matter

Mercedes AMG F1

The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One team announced Monday that its cars will race in black all season as “a stand against racism and discrimination in all forms and a public pledge to further improve the diversity of our team and our sport.”

Mercedes superstar Lewis Hamilton, the only Black driver to win an F1 title, endorsed his team’s new livery on social media Monday morning.

The six-time F1 champion has spoken widely about racism after feeling “so much anger, sadness and disbelief” after the killing of George Floyd, joining a Black Lives Matter march recently in London and announcing plans to form a panel to increase diversity in motorsports.

“When Formula One returns to racing this weekend in Austria, it will do so in a world that has changed profoundly since the teams last gathered in Melbourne in early March,” the team said in a release. “Our sport’s united response to the global Covid-19 pandemic, in the form of Project Pitlane, showcased the very best capability that Formula One has to offer.

“However, in the past five weeks, the Black Lives Matter movement has shone a searching light on how much we need new measures and actions in the fight against racism and all forms of discrimination. As a team, we have used the past weeks to listen to the perspectives of our team members, to learn and to reflect on our team as it is today and how we want it to be in the future.”

Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas also will be wearing black uniforms for the 2020 season, which will begin July 5 in Austria. The series has been on hiatus since the season opener in Australia was canceled three months ago because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Said team principal Toto Wolff: “Racism and discrimination have no place in our society, our sport or our team: This is a core belief at Mercedes. 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. We intend to find and attract the very best talents from the broadest possible range of backgrounds, and to create credible pathways for them to reach our sport, in order to build a stronger and more diverse team in the future.”