“Originally it was the silver arrows”– Lewis Hamilton never thought that the black Mercedes would stick for so long, and it serves no purpose now.
After George Floyd’s death, Lewis Hamilton spearheaded the solidarity campaign for Formula 1 to the Black Lives Matter movement (BLM); as a symbolic gesture, Mercedes also changed its livery colours from silver to black.
At that time, Hamilton requested it, and Mercedes complied, but in 2021, Mercedes also released W12 with the same livery colour. Hamilton says that he never thought it would stick for that long and would now welcome the return of silver.
200 RTs and we drop the W12 night pics. 🙏🔥 pic.twitter.com/oHidjUCyfB
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) September 24, 2021
“I don’t really have an opinion on it,” he told Motorsport.com. “Originally it was the silver arrows. When I asked for the car to be black for symbolism last year, and what our future plans are in terms of diversity, I didn’t expect it to stay for so long.”
“It’s great that we kept it for another season,” he explained. On returning of Silver livery, he said: “If it comes back that would be a nice change. It doesn’t stop us from making changes internally, we continue to make a strong case for diversity.”
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) June 15, 2020
Fundamental changes needed over symbolic support
Hamilton has constantly reiterated that F1 needs to do more to combat racism within the sport, and it’s true, other sports leagues, which initially showcased solidarity with the BLM movement, adapted to taking a knee and wearing t-shirts.
Many leagues continue to make such gestures, especially taking the knee, but how far is it effective now, as racism is still rampant within several sports.
The good thing about Hamilton’s efforts against racism has resulted in his commission. Its first report gave insightful data and recommendations on how this problem could be tackled and what could make F1 more inclusive.