Lewis Hamilton has thanked Mercedes for their support as the team unveil a new-look black car for the 2020 season in a show of commitment to greater diversity in Formula 1.
The reigning world champion has been vocal in his support of the Black Lives Matter movement and does not want the momentum that has been gathered to wane.
Hamilton has thanked his team for joining him in driving home the message with the change from the silver colour scheme which dates back to the 1930s.
‘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.
‘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.’
Wolff, the Mercedes F1 team principal, said: ‘Racism and discrimination have no place in our society, our sport or our team: this is a core belief at Mercedes.
‘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.’
The 2020 Formula 1 season finally gets underway on 5 July at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria, where Hamilton will begin the defence of his title.
Just eight races are currently scheduled, but more could still be added to the rescheduled calendar.
Hamilton continued his message on his new car on Instagram, writing: ‘I am so proud of this team, for being open eyed to the serious issue of racism and discrimination. They’ve taken steps to ensure they are being open minded, to be willing to learn from lessons past and present and working together whole-heartedly for a better, more equal and inclusive future.
‘The silver arrows has been a prominent leader for decades and this marks a new era for them also where we push for inclusion and diversity. We have much to do but I’m confident that together we can help change this sport and spark the others in the industry to follow. #BlackLivesMatter’.
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