Lewis Hamilton gets his dream car: How Merc's new F1 livery came into being
Brackley, England - Lewis Hamilton has designed his own dream car - a black Mercedes to carry the fight against racism into his Formula One defence.
The campaigning six-time world champion was the inspiration between the radical new livery unveiled on Monday by the all-conquering team, which has traditionally raced in silver.
The Black Arrow will make its debut in Austria this weekend as the delayed Formula One season finally revs into action against a backdrop of racial controversy caused by the killing of African-American George Floyd under the knee of a white policeman.
Sportsmail understands that Hamilton came up with the idea of a black car in discussion with team principal Toto Wolff earlier this month. The scheme was then signed off by the Mercedes board in Stuttgart within 48 hours, and the plans drawn up.
"When I spoke to Toto about my hopes for what we could achieve as a team, I said it was so important that we stand united," revealed Hamilton.
"I would like to say a huge thank you to Toto and the 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.
"It’s so important that we seize this moment and use it to educate ourselves to make real meaningful changes to ensure equality and inclusivity. I have experienced racism in my life and seen my family and friends experience racism, and I am speaking from the heart.
"We want to build a legacy that goes beyond sport."
Hamilton has been at odds with former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who recently waded into the race row by claiming that "a lot of black people are more racist than white people". Hamilton, who is expected to ‘take a knee’ in Austria, called the comments "ignorant".
Mercedes knows it has work to do to deliver greater diversity as a company. Just three percent of its 1000-strong workforce are from minority ethnic groups, and only 12 percent of employees are women.
Wolff said: "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."
Both Hamilton and team-mate Valtteri Bottas will wear black overalls this year. The new livery will remain in place all season.Daily Mail