Valterri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton will start the new 2020 Formula 1 season wearing black race overalls and driving black race cars. It’s a powerful visual and psychological statement from the team and drivers in a stand against racism and discrimination.
The Silver Arrows will race in this livery for the whole of the 2020 season.
Team principal Toto Wolff said: “Racism and discrimination have no place in our society, our sport or our team: this is a core belief of 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.”
Lewis Hamilton ‘increasingly vocal’
Six-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton, the only black driver on the Formula 1 grid, has become increasingly vocal about racism using his voice, his brand and his money to shed light on racism and affect change.
“We want to build a legacy that goes beyond sport,” said Hamilton, “and if we can be the leaders and can start building more diversity within our own business, it will send such a strong message and give others the confidence to begin a dialogue about how they can implement change.”
No stranger to experiencing racism throughout his career, Hamilton has undoubtedly influenced this decision taken by Mercedes-Benz executives.
“When I spoke to Toto about my hopes for what we could achieve as a team, I said it was so important that we stand united,” Hamilton said.
“I would like to say a huge thank you to Toto and the Mercedes board for taking the time to listen, to talk, and to really understand my experiences and passion, and for making this important statement that we are willing to change and improve as a business.
Helmet designs also get makeover
Valtteri Bottas and Hamilton will also sport new helmet designs.
The “End Racism” slogan will feature on the halo of both Mercedes F1 race cars, while the united F1 initiative #WeRaceAsOne will be featured of the mirrors of the W11.
Bottas has also been vocal about the need for change.
“We know that our teams are stronger when they are more representative of the society we are art of, and it is important for us to be united and show our commitment to change.”
This stand is a massive commitment from the Mercedes F1 team, the only team on the grid that has used their brand and voice in this way.
“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,” Wolff said.
The new Formula 1 season starts 3 July 2020 in Austria.