Friday, July 10, 2020
banner
Home /  Sports  /  Mercedes to go black as Hamilton eyes Schumacher F1 record

Mercedes to go black as Hamilton eyes Schumacher F1 record

Mercedes to go black as Hamilton eyes Schumacher F1 record

AFP
Paris
Mercedes announced on Monday an all-new black liveried car for the 2020 Formula One season in support of #BlackLivesMatter with their six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton a vocal supporter of the fight against racism.
F1 emerges from its coronavirus-enforced three-month hiatus in Austria this weekend to a markedly changed world, with the killing of African-American George Floyd in US police custody last month triggering outrage and a global anti-racism movement.
Hamilton, the only black driver on the F1 grid, has established a commission which hopes to steer more black youngsters into motor racing.
Mercedes in a statement noted that “in our organisation, just three percent of our workforce identify as belonging to minority ethnic groups and only 12% of our employees are women”.
“This lack of diversity shows that we need to find new approaches to attract talent from many areas of society we do not currently reach,” it added.
Whilst expressing pride at the team’s “values and culture” the statement said “the Black Lives Matter movement has shone a searching light on how much we need new measures and actions in the fight against racism and all forms of discrimination”.
“For 2020, we have chosen to race in an all-black base livery as a public pledge to improve the diversity of our team - and a clear statement that we stand against racism and all forms of discrimination.”
Team Principal Toto Wolff said “Racism and discrimination have no place in our society, our sport or our team”.
The German added: “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.”
Hamilton, who starts his quest for a record-equalling seventh title at Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix, said it was vital “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”.
His Finnish teammate Valtteri Bottas said he was “proud to stand with the team, with Lewis and with Mercedes-Benz in making this important statement”.
Since easing out of lockdown sports stars have been eager to take a stand against racism, whether by taking the knee, as footballers form the Bundesliga or Premier League have done, or wearing Black lives Matters on the back of their shirts.
The event at Spielberg is being held on its original calendar date, but is not the once-anticipated 11th round of the championship, but the first - a season-opener delayed by the global pandemic.
More than three months after the Australian Grand Prix was abandoned on the eve of opening practice in Melbourne, the race in the Styrian Alps will be run behind closed doors, without fans, sponsors’ agents and guests and only a handful of reporters restricted to the media centre.
The usual high-rise motor homes will be replaced by tents and awnings while the teams, cut to 80 members and all in protective gear, will operate in sanitised “bubbles within bubbles” in a paddock bereft of human contact and the usual swell of rumour and speculation.
For all involved, who are tested four days before the event and five days later, it will be an unprecedented and unique experience.
Yet, despite all the change and the surreal atmosphere it is expected that the action, when it begins, will deliver the same likely story.
Hamilton, powered by the all-conquering Mercedes, goes in search of a seventh drivers’ title to equal the record of Schumacher.
“It has been unbearable - I have missed the racing and the competition so much, so it will be great to be back,” said Wolff.

Pages