Lewis Hamilton: “I’ve grown very close with Mercedes-Benz”

© Jiri Krenek for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes-Benz and Daimler have been “so open” when they “changed the car from silver to black in 2020”.

During his appearance on the “On Purpose with Jay Shetty” podcast, Lewis Hamilton talked about his stand against racism, and his struggle to bring diversity to Formula 1.

The Briton said Mercedes and team boss Toto Wolff have been very open and supportive when he approached them about these issues.

“One of the things he brings up that he said hit him hard,” the Briton said.

“I said, ‘Have you ever thought of, as a white person walking into the race weekend paddock, and being the only white person there?’

“He’s like, ‘I hadn’t even thought of that’. And I said, ‘Well, that’s what it’s like, for someone like me, when I’m in the room’.

“You notice that out of 50 people in a meeting, you’re the only person who black person there. And it’s not because we are less, it’s because there are these barriers within society through education, that are limiting people to be the best they can be.

“So my job is to be empowering and improving representation.”

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Back in 2020, Mercedes even decided to change their traditional silver livery to all black, as a sign of solidarity.

“I’ve grown very close with Mercedes-Benz and Daimler, they’ve been so open,” Lewis continued.

“We changed the car from silver to black in 2020. Again, I said to them, ‘The car’s been silver forever. It’s always been Silver Arrows. Imagine if we change the car to black? Imagine the message we can send’.

“So we had the black car for the whole year and we didn’t even really talk much about it, we just let it be. And we won with it and that’s when I won my seventh world title with that car.

“My whole life flashed before my eyes on that last lap, in Turkey. My whole life, all the struggles, the questioning whether you were going to make it or not, just all those doubts or the fears, kind of flashed by me, through my eyes, and I came across the line.

“And I was like, ‘I did it’,” Hamilton concluded.

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