New All Blacks?

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Words: NZ Autocar
30 Jun 2020

When F1 resumes in Austria this weekend, it will return in a brave new world, one united against not only the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also one fighting racism and discrimination.

Nowhere will that be more apparent than within the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team. Currently just three per cent of its workforce identifies as being part of a minority ethnic group and only 12 per cent are women, something they’re committed to change.

Beginning with its all-black livery, the team sees this as its public pledge to improve diversity within the group ‘and a clear statement that we stand against racism and all forms of discrimination’. The call to ‘End Racism’ features on both cars, and the united F1 initiative #WeRaceAsOne will feature on the mirrors of the W11. By the end of the season, the team hopes to have made measurable progress.

Markus Schaefer, Member of the Daimler AG Board and a head of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team said: “At Mercedes, we know that the strength of our organisation lies in the diversity of our people, and we are proud to be able to use one of our most prominent global platforms to signal our commitment to this fundamental principle of our society and our business.”

Toto Wolff, Team Principal & CEO of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team added: “Racism and discrimination have no place in our society, our sport or our team. We wish to use our voice and our global platform to speak up for respect and equality, and the Silver Arrows will race in black for the entire 2020 season to show our commitment to greater diversity within our team and our sport. Our livery is our public pledge to take positive action.”

Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas will race in black overalls for the 2020 season, with both drivers also adapting their helmet designs.

Lewis Hamilton said: “It’s so important that we seize this moment...and make real meaningful changes when it comes to ensuring equality and inclusivity. 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.”

Valtteri Bottas added “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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