Lewis Hamilton has thanked his Mercedes-AMG Petronas team for sending out such a ‘strong message’ globally by adopting a black livery for the 2020 F1 World Championship season as its way of campaigning against racism.

Ahead of this weekend’s 2020 F1 opener in Austria, six-time F1 World Champions Mercedes took everyone by surprise by revealing the W11 will don a stealthier black livery in what is a sharp departure from the uniform ‘Silver Arrows’ look it has barely changed over the past decade.

 

 

With Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas set to look the part too with black race suits, the simple but impactful gesture has earned praise for what it represents, not least because Mercedes has carved its image around the Silver Arrows look for more than half a century now.

“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,” Hamilton said.

“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 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.”

In recent weeks Hamilton has been a vocal and impassioned supporter for the Black Lives Matter movement, a huge global protest prompted by the death of George Floyd, who died from injuries sustained due to police brutality as they arrested him.

With Hamilton calling out his fellow F1 drivers to be more forthcoming to stand up for what they believe in, F1 itself has now followed suit too, launching its #WeRaceAsOne initiative aimed at improving diversity and equality within the sport.

 

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