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LEWIS HAMILTON’S Mercedes team will run an all-black livery on their cars this season as an anti-racist statement, it was revealed yesterday.
The world champions will adopt the new look for Formula 1’s delayed campaign, which begins in Austria this weekend.
Hamilton will open his title defence following a row with the sport’s billionaire former supremo Bernie Ecclestone who, during a recent TV interview, offensively claimed that “a lot of black people are more racist than white people.”
The six-time world champion described Ecclestone’s remarks as “sad and disappointing,” but Ecclestone has since doubled down in bizarre fashion, saying: “I am not anti-black people. Quite the opposite. I have always been very much in favour.”
Hamilton has been a vocal supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, marching earlier this month and saying he was overcome with rage following the killing of African-American George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis.
“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,” said Hamilton.
“When I spoke to [Mercedes boss] Toto Wolff about my hopes for what we could achieve as a team, I said it was so important that we stand united.”
Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas will also wear black overalls this year, while an End Racism message will feature on both of their cars.
“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,” Hamilton added.
Mercedes have also pledged to improve diversity within their own corridors.
The team, which is based in Northamptonshire, revealed that just three per cent of their workforce come from a minority-ethnic group, and only 12 per cent of its employees are women.
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