The death of African-American George Floyd at the hands of police officers a few months ago is still sending shockwaves around the world.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic affecting countries around the world, Floyd's death has resulted in protests, riots, and demonstrations not just in the U.S. but also in other parts of the globe as people stood up against systemic racism and all forms of discrimination. Automakers such as Ford and General Motors have released statements condemning Floyd's death and the continued racial discrimination against African-Americans and other ethnic minorities in the U.S.
In support of racial diversity, Mercedes-AMG F1 will be competing at this year's Formula 1 season with an all-black livery. The dark livery will serve as a public pledge to improve the diversity of the Formula 1 racing team, as well as a clear statement that Mercedes-AMG F1 Petronas stands against any form of racism and discrimination.
Both the W11 Silver Arrows will don the all-black livery, have the call to 'End Racism' placed on the halo, along with the united F1 initiative '#WeRaceAsOne' on the mirrors of the W11. Besides the cars themselves, both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas will be wearing an all-black racing suit specially made by Puma. Even the gloves and the balaclava are finished in black in support of the company's fight against racism.
“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,” said Toto Wolff, Team Principal, and CEO of Mercedes-AMG F1 Petronas.
For Lewis Hamilton, who is a longtime supporter of racial diversity and inclusion, it is important that the racing team seizes this moment in order to use it to educate the people about equality and inclusivity.
“I have personally experienced racism in my life and seen my family and friends experience racism, and I am speaking from the heart when I appeal for change. 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,” said Hamilton.
Before the end of this season, Mercedes-AMG F1 Petronas will announce a Diversity and Inclusion program that is aimed at continuing to listen to and raise the awareness of the team members, as well as the recruitment of new members from under-represented backgrounds that aspire to reach F1. That way, the company will be able to build a stronger and more diverse team in the future.
With Formula 1 itself made up of various nationalities, racing across different countries and cultures, Mercedes-AMG F1 Petronas' initiative to stand against any form of racism and discrimination is important to the motorsport's global presence.
Get to see the two all-black W11 Silver Arrows race at this weekend's 2020 Austrian Grand Prix, which will serve as this season's opening race.