A black-liveried Mercedes Formula One car for the 2020 season is seen in a handout image released on Monday as part of a pledge to improve diversity within the team and the world of motorsport.—Reuters
A black-liveried Mercedes Formula One car for the 2020 season is seen in a handout image released on Monday as part of a pledge to improve diversity within the team and the world of motorsport.—Reuters

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 12pc 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”.

Published in Dawn, June 30th, 2020