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Wolff explains Hamilton-Mercedes diversity foundation origins

Wolff explains Hamilton-Mercedes diversity foundation origins

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Wolff explains Hamilton-Mercedes diversity foundation origins

Wolff explains Hamilton-Mercedes diversity foundation origins

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has credited the idea of the joint diversity foundation between the team and Lewis Hamilton to Daimler chairman Ola Källenius.

The foundation was announced along with Hamilton's contract extension with the Silver Arrows, with a significant investment ensured by Mercedes to tackle the lack of diversity in Formula 1.

“I think that the idea of the foundation – credit to where credit is due – came from Ola Källenius [Daimler chairman] when we discussed between Lewis, Ola and myself at the very beginning," Wolff explained.

“Lewis was very enthusiastic about the idea. We are going to run it jointly and it also shows that there is an alliance in the relationship much beyond 2021 but in the long-term.

“We invested substantial million euro amounts into the foundation which is a real commitment from us to have an impact.”

Hamilton was outspoken on issues surrounding diversity and racism last year, with his call to action leading F1 to launch its diversity campaign, #WeRaceAsOne, and to promote an "EndRacism" message.

Wolff insisted the team, who ran in an all-black livery as part of its own initiative last year, felt it was vital to invest in the cause.

"We felt that making a real financial contribution to our diversity and equality project was an important statement," he added.

"So also on that topic, it felt the right thing to do, and it shows our long-term commitment to each another because it is a multi-million investment in the Foundation which we are going to do jointly.

"It was a joint idea between Lewis and us. We felt it was a very important topic to address. We are already very active in this field as Mercedes, and the specific projects need to be defined together, and that's not going to change from one week to the other."

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