Formula 1 has launched a new initiative to coincide with the return to racing next month that both acknowledges the worldwide fight against COVID-19 and encompasses a renewed push for diversity.
Known as #WeRaceAsOne, the campaign is a thank you from F1 to key workers and everyone else who has had to endure COVID-19.
An F1 "rainbow" logo has been designed, incorporating the colours of all 10 teams.
It will appear on the cars, as well as around the circuit and above the pit garages. A range of rainbow-branded products, intended to raise funds for charity, will be launched by F1 and the teams.
At the same time F1 is ramping up the commitment to diversity that it outlined last year when it launched its 2030 zero carbon sustainability programme.
The Austrian GP will thus see the start of a "racism must end" campaign, with visual displays around the track.
In addition F1 is setting up a diversity and equality task force, and will set out pledges underlining its targets.
The initiatives support the wider #purposedriven movement launched by the FIA last week.
"The whole world has come together as one collective community in the fight against COVID-19," F1 said in a statement.
"And it has brought out the best in human nature. In recent weeks people from all walks of life have united in their condemnation of racism and inequality, something that has no place in our modern world.
"We believe that as the first international sport to return we can make a difference and use our voice to address these vital issues. As a member of the global FIA motor sport family, we acknowledge its Fundamental Principles Statutes, including the fight against any form of discrimination.
"This initiative will be the platform for the priorities set out above and is aimed at tackling the biggest issues facing our sport and global communities.
"It will not be a one week or one-year theme that disappears as issues disappear from headlines, it will underpin the F1 strategy to make a tangible difference in our sport and society."
F1 says that 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".
Regarding the stand on racism, the new F1 task force "will listen to people from across the paddock, including the drivers, as well as externals, and make conclusions on the actions required to improve the diversity and opportunity in F1 at all levels".
F1 CEO Chase Carey stressed the importance of the new campaign as racing resumes next month.
"Our first race in Austria at the start of July is a big moment for our sport after nearly four months of no racing," said Carey. "While it is an important moment for the F1 community it is also a time to recognise the issues that are bigger than any one sport or country.
"The #WeRaceAsOne initiative we have launched today, in support of the #PurposeDriven Movement launched by the FIA last week, is our way of saying thank you to the bravery and unity everyone around the world has shown during this unprecedented time.
"It will also be a platform for F1 to come together and achieve results against the most important issues facing us as a sport and the world. That is why at our first race in Austria F1 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 F1 more diverse and inclusive.
"As a global sport we must represent the diversity and social concerns of our fans, but we also need to listen more and understand what needs to be done and get on with delivering."
FIA president Jean Todt said he welcomes F1's new initiative and acknowledged its place as part of the governing body's own programme.
"With F1, we have already been committed for many years to helping to protect the environment with, for example, hybrid engines and the signing of the United Nations Sports for Climate Action Framework," he said.
"The FIA is guided by the Fundamental Principles of its Statutes, including the fight against any form of discrimination and notably on account of skin colour, gender, religion, ethnic or social origin. We must promote diversity in motorsport."
Photo by: Liberty Media
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