Lewis Hamilton urges F1 to “seize moment” in racism fight as Mercedes unveil all-black car

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Lewis Hamilton has urged Formula One to “seize their moment’ in the fight against racism – as his Mercedes team made a powerful statement by unveiling an all-black car for the 2020 season.

The all-conquering F1 team, known as the Silver Arrows, will be switching the colours of Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas’ cars to black for the new campaign which gets underway in Austria this weekend.

Indeed, Mercedes have reiterated their intention to make a stand against racism and discrimination – and pledged to improve the diversity of their team.

In addition to changing the colours of their car, Hamilton and Bottas will also race in black overalls in 2020, with both drivers adapting their helmet designs.

The call to ‘End Racism’ will feature on the halo of Mercedes cars, while the united F1 initiative #WeRaceAsOne will be featured of the mirrors of the W11 – which was originally designed to be silver before Mercedes unveiled their new look on Monday.

“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,” said Hamilton.

“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.

“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.”

Mercedes revealed “just three per cent of our workforce identify as belonging to minority ethnic groups and only 12 per cent of our employees are women”.

And in a bid to continue their fight for equality, the world champions will launch a Diversity and Inclusion programme to make “a measurable difference”.

“Racism and discrimination have no place in our society, our sport or our team: this is a core belief of Mercedes,” added Team Principal Toto Wolff.

“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.”

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