The team says that as part of its push to see greater representation in the sport, its new livery will help promote the message and form part of its public pledge in improving diversity within the Mercedes team.
The W11 will feature an all-black base with ‘End Racism’ appearing on the halo of both cars, as well as the #WeRaceAsOne F1 initiative on the mirrors of the car. Both drivers will race in black race suits and run altered crash helmet designs.
Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton has led the calls within F1 in the fight against racism, and welcomed the move by the team and its commitment to improving diversity within the sport.
“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 [Wolff, Mercedes team principal] 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.”
Earlier this month, Hamilton called on other drivers and the series to begin speaking up on the issue. Subsequent messages of support for the BLM movement and fight against racism followed, with F1 also creating a new programme aimed at improving diversity.
He also announced the formation of the Hamilton Commission, in partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineering aimed at improving opportunity for young black people with backgrounds in STEM subjects through motor sport.
Last week, F1 announced the We Race As One foundation that will focus on improving opportunity for underepresented groups in the sport.
Mercedes acknowledged in its statement that the team three per cent of its staff are from minority ethnic groups and 12 per cent are women, and that it would work to build a more diverse working environment with the implementation of a Diversity and Inclusion programme.
The team will work to further raise awareness of the cause within, collaborate with key stakeholders in the sport to improve accessibility, reassess its hiring and development process and support initiatives in aid of individuals from under-represented groups and backgrounds.
“Racism and discrimination have no place in our society, our sport or our team: this is a core belief at Mercedes,” team principal Toto Wolff said.
“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.”