Mercedes says their return to a black livery, one year after reverting to the marque’s traditional silver colour, is in order to save weight.
The team previously used a black livery in 2020 and 2021. Its 2020 car was originally launched in silver but the team changed its colours in response to a wave of protests against racial inequality in the spring of 2020.
Mercedes painted its 2020 car black as “a signal of the team’s commitment to fighting racism and discrimination in all its forms.” After two seasons in the colour scheme, which also included the message “End racism”, it switched back to silver.
Team principal Toto Wolff said last year the black livery “has become part of our DNA, but the silver colour of the Silver Arrows is as much our DNA, it’s our history”. However the switch back to black has been done for more practical reasons ,shared with other teams who have also introduced more black to their car liveries this season.
“We were overweight last year,” Wolff explained. “This year we have tried to figure out where we can squeeze out every single gram.
“So now, history repeats itself. You will see that the car has some raw carbon bits, along with some that are painted matte black.
“Of course, when we changed the livery in 2020 the main driving factor was to support the diversity and equality causes which are always close to our heart. The colour black became part of our DNA at that point, so we are pleased to return to it.”
During the W14’s launch Wolff also referred to the “paint-scraping myth”, a story which claimed an early Mercedes racing car ran in silver after the white paint was scraped off to save weight. Although historical research has debunked the claim, it has become part of the team’s folklore.
Mercedes included apprentices and interns hired as part of its Accelerate 25 diversity initiative in its launch today. The team says its percentage of female members has increased from 12% to 16%, and the number of staff from minority ethnic backgrounds grown from 3% to 9%, since the programme’s launch two years ago.
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2023 F1 season
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