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Mercedes to run all-black livery in 2020 to combat racism and promote diversity

Mercedes to run all-black livery in 2020 to combat racism and promote diversity

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Mercedes to run all-black livery in 2020 to combat racism and promote diversity

Mercedes to run all-black livery in 2020 to combat racism and promote diversity

Mercedes is to run in a striking all-black base livery for the 2020 Formula 1 season as part of its plan to combat racism and promote diversity.

Mercedes has revealed that only three per cent of its workforce belongs to minority ethnic groups and 12% are women.

The new livery is what the team has described as "a public pledge to improve the diversity of our team - and a clear statement that we stand against racism and all forms of discrimination".

The call to 'End Racism' is to feature on the halo of both cars, while the recently launched F1 initiative #WeRaceAsOne will be on the mirrors of the W11.

Drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas will race in black overalls this season, with both also adapting their helmet designs.

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Notably, as part of its commitment for greater inclusivity, before the end of this season, the team will announce a 'Diversity and Inclusion programme'.

This will include but not be limited to: continuing to listen to and raise the awareness of its team members; forensic analysis of its recruitment and development processes; collaboration with the sport's key stakeholders to improve accessibility to F1; and targeted education initiatives to encourage and support talented people from under-represented backgrounds who aspire to reach F1.

In a statement, Mercedes added: "We know that it will take time to build the right strategy, and consistent effort and investment year on year, and decade on decade, to make a measurable difference; our commitment to doing this is irreversible"

To help combat the issue, six-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton recently launched 'The Hamilton Commission', a research partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineering dedicated to exploring how motorsport can be used to engage more young people from black backgrounds with STEM subjects to employ them on Mercedes' teams or in other engineering sectors.

Regarding the project, Hamilton said: "It's so important that we seize this moment and use it to educate ourselves whether you are an individual, brand or company to make real meaningful changes when it comes to ensuring 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.

"When I spoke to Toto [Wolff] about my hopes for what we could achieve as a team, I said it was so important that we stand united.

"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.

"We want to build a legacy that goes beyond sport, 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."

Wolff added: "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."

Bottas concluded: "Formula One is a world that is defined by performance, but it still contains many barriers for people who come from backgrounds that haven't traditionally been part of the sport.

"We know that our teams are stronger when they are more representative of the society we are part of, and it is important for us to be united and show our commitment to change.

"Racism and discrimination have no place in our sport or in our society and I am proud to stand with the team, with Lewis and with Mercedes-Benz in making this important statement."

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