Wolff says Mercedes’ ‘black livery’ call was made in just 24 hours

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Team boss Toto Wolff says Mercedes and its partners made the call to switch their 2020 car to an all-black livery in just 24 hours.

Mercedes made a last minute colour change to their livery, just ahead of the 2020 season start. The new all-black livery is intended as Mercedes’ statement in support of racial justice and diversity.

Toto Wolff says the call to switch the colour had to be approved by Mercedes’ parent company Daimler and all its partners and the decision had to be made very quickly.

Lewis [Hamilton] and I had a telephone conversation three weeks prior to the start of the season about the whole Black Lives Matter and End Racism movement and what we could do more than just an Instagram post,” Wolff explained.

“And everybody in the team feels that you need to act rather than just talk and then in the conversation the idea of the black livery was born.

“I had to say to him that I was not sure if we could make it logistically because we needed to paint the whole car, and I needed to convince all the partners and Daimler to back us on that.

“Obviously you have contractual obligations and we had worked on the silver livery for many months and changing it overnight would have always been difficult, especially as we had 24 hours to react because the paint shop wouldn’t have made it for Spielberg.

“All our partners were great and [Daimler Chairman] Ola [Källenius] gave me a response within 12 hours, having checked back with marketing, so the whole team and all our partners just backed us,” concluded the Austrian.

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