Mercedes to run Pride Star for next three races

Sir Lewis Hamilton and George Russell will run the Pride Star on their W13s for the next three rounds of the season.

To celebrate pride month, Mercedes have put a rainbow theme on the Mercedes Benz logo on the front nose of the W13.

The month of June represents a month of awareness of the LGBTQ+ community in a bid to help fight the inequality and prejudice that its members go through on a daily basis.

The Silver Arrows ran a black livery to support the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020 and 2021 as they fought back against racism following the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in America.

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In their latest push for awareness and equality, George Russell and Sir Lewis Hamilton will proudly sport the Pride Star on their cars for the next three rounds in Baku, Montreal and Silverstone.

“Happy Pride Month,” they tweeted.

“We’re proud to be running the Mercedes Benz Pride Star on our W13s for the next three races, celebrating the LGBTQ+ community and raising awareness for Pride Month.

“Alongside running the Pride Star, we also have a range of internal and external activities planned for Pride Month, as part of our Accelerate 25 programme to become a more diverse and inclusive team,” they continued.

In a statement, the German outfit highlighted the importance of all of its team members to feel comfortable in their own skin, and their desire to create a safe space for their employees to be themselves.

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“Displaying the Pride star represents a visual expression of our commitment to creating a more diverse and inclusive team,” they said.

“We firmly believe that promoting a culture in which our team members can freely express their personality and identity will result in a stronger and more performant team.”

Mercedes’ Accelerate 25 programme was set up at a similar time as the Hamilton commission, which sought to expose areas of the pinnacle of F1 and global sport in which minorities are underrepresented and discriminated against.

It found that there had been a rise in “racist, homophobic and sexist” chanting in sports such as football, rugby and cricket, and it went on to detail some of the initiatives being undertaken by both McLaren and Mercedes to promote inclusivity.

The report from the Hamilton commission, published in June 2020, detailed the steps Mercedes have taken, and will continue to take, to ensure that there is more diversity within their workforce by 2025.

“In 2020 Mercedes AMG Petronas announced the launch of Accelerate 25, a five-year programme of action which commits to an ambition of at least 25% of all new employees in the team coming from underrepresented groups in each year up to and including 2025,” read the report.

“To deliver this commitment, the team has begun a range of internal and external initiatives to accelerate its learning, benchmark its processes and reach talent pools it has not previously accessed.

“An extensive internal diversity and inclusion training programme has been launched for over 200 managers responsible for recruitment, with focus on unconscious bias and inclusive leadership; there is a target for all team members to have ‘Accelerate Inclusion’ training by mid-2021. “

In an interview with the LGBTQ magazine recently, Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel affirmed that an openly gay driver in the pinnacle of motorsport would be “welcomed, and rightly so.”

Alpine have also teamed up with Racing Pride to run rainbow colours on their livery to celebrate Pride Month, having conducted a survey last year that found that some of their employees felt that they were working in a “male dominated” environment, in which there was a “strong culture of banter.”

Alpine CEO, Laurent Rossi affirms that celebrating Pride Month is just the start of the team’s journey towards achieving equality and an environment in which everyone can feel comfortable.

“For so long, motorsport has not been representative of the diversity we see in wider society,” he explained.

“There are various reasons, but we need to look forward and challenge the biases we see.

“Our journey starts here. The LGBTQ+ community has lacked visible representation and support within our industry, and we need to change this.

“We want Alpine to be an open, inclusive and productive place to work and for our employees to feel happy and supported in their workplace.

“A happy environment gives greater creativity and that is exactly what we need to foster as we move forward.

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“To do so, we need to fully understand the challenges some of the under-represented groups in motorsport face.

“Pride Month is a good place to start; we know that we need to do more to give this community a voice and representation.”