Mercedes explains decision to return to silver F1 livery for 2022

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Mercedes has traditionally raced in silver throughout its racing history, leading to the ‘Silver Arrows’ nickname. But the team swapped to a black design ahead of the delayed 2020 season in a strong anti-racism message amid activism around the world.

The team has worked closely with seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton to improve diversity and inclusion through its Accelerate 25 programme, as well as launching a charity with Hamilton called Ignite to bring more under-represented groups into STEM subjects and industries.

Mercedes launched its new car for the 2022 season, the W13, on Friday, which returns to a silver-based livery while retaining some black elements on the design.

Mercedes F1 chief Wolff explained the decision at the launch, saying the team’s official colours moving forward would be silver and black.

“The black livery was a clear intent and a clear demonstration of our mission to become a more diverse and inclusive team,” Wolff said.

“It has become part of our DNA, but the silver colour of the Silver Arrows is as much our DNA, it’s our history. As a team we have grown from the Silver Arrows to slowly becoming a more diverse and inclusive team and therefore our colours going forward will be silver and black.

“Increasing the diversity of our team isn’t about meeting a quota, it’s about recruiting the very best people regardless of ethnicity, gender, religion or sexual orientation.

“Our work inspiring people who might otherwise think a career in engineering, technology or motorsport isn’t for them will widen the talent pool we have available. A diverse workforce drives performance.”

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Mercedes revealed earlier this month that it was making “promising progress” with its Accelerate 25 programme, exceeding its target of 25% of new recruits coming from under-represented groups in its first year by hitting 38%. The number of female employees has risen from 12% to 14%, while those from ethnic minorities has increased from 3% to 6%.

The Mercedes W13 will enjoy its first on-track run at Silverstone on Friday during a shakedown before heading to Barcelona for pre-season testing next week.

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