F1 launches initiative against racism, inequality

Formula One will use the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix to launch a new initiative against racism, which includes a diversity and equality task force.

On Monday F1 said it will return at the July 5 event with “added purpose” to recognise the issues facing modern society.

F1 CEO Chase Carey said the opening event of the delayed season will be “a platform for Formula One to come together and achieve results against the most important issues facing us as a sport and the world.

He added: “That is why at our first race in Austria Formula One will stand united to say loud and clear that racism must end. We will show our full support in fighting inequality throughout the weekend and accelerate our own efforts to make Formula One more diverse and inclusive.”

The F1 initiative, dubbed WeRaceAsOne, follows reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton, F1’s only black driver, launching a commission to help motorsport engage more young people from black backgrounds. Hamilton has been outspoken during the Black Lives Matter movement and last month called out F1 for its silence and inaction over both the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis and the lack of diversity in the series.

The initiative will also include a thanks from F1 to health workers and those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The series will launch an F1 Rainbow, consisting of the colours of all 10 teams, which will appear on cars, garages and around the circuit in Austria. F1 will also release rainbow-branded products to help charitable initiatives.

F1’s statement said: “The rainbow has been chosen as it has become a symbol used internationally in the recent crisis to bring communities together. We believe this important gesture will encourage our fans to join us in saying thank you. The rainbow initiative will continue throughout the season.”