|A $100 black paint covering is cheap. Lewis Hamilton has made so much money in F1 he should start an F1 team and hire all black drivers, crew members and engineers. This will show that he really wants to give black people an opportunity in the sport. We are all for it and we encourage Hamilton to make that announcement soon.|
(GMM) Lewis Hamilton was behind Mercedes' livery switch from silver to black ahead of the re-starting 2020 season, his boss has admitted.
While some simply hailed the new paint job's visual appeal, it is actually a tip of the hat to the Black Lives Matter political movement.
"Lewis is very active in Black Lives Matter," team boss Toto Wolff, who is yet to reach a new deal with Hamilton for 2021 and beyond, told Kurier newspaper.
"We coordinated what we can do on the topic. He (Hamilton) called me about a month ago and said 'two Instagram posts is not enough'. Together, we gave birth to the idea of the black car," the Austrian added.
Wolff also told Der Standard newspaper: "The board of directors of Daimler and the sponsors immediately gave their support."
He denies that it is simply an empty symbolic gesture, insisting: "The right convictions are not enough if we remain silent.
"We therefore want to use our voice and our platform to campaign for respect and equality."
Wolff admitted that women and minorities are grossly under-represented at the title-winning team, and vowed to do something about it.
"We will not set quotas, but we will set goals," he said.
McLaren's Lando Norris, meanwhile, revealed that the drivers are considering 'taking a knee' to honor the Black Lives Matter movement in Austria.
"It will be discussed in the Grand Prix Drivers' Association after the drivers' briefing on Friday," he said.
"We will do whatever we can to show that we care and respect everyone."