Formula 1 will launch a task force to improve the diversity and opportunity within the sport, and has promised a strong stand against racism when it restarts its season in Austria next month.
The opening race of the season will take place at the Red Bull Ring on July 5, and will be marked by the rollout of a new initiative titled #WeRaceAsOne in recognition of the resilience shown by key workers and individuals around the world in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative will be signified by a rainbow featuring the colors of all 10 teams, which will be displayed on all of the cars, around the circuits and above garages.
Alongside the rainbow – chosen by F1 “as it has become a symbol used internationally in the recent crisis to bring communities together” – the sport vows to take a stand against racism, including visual displays. A more tangible move will be the forming of a task force “that 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 Formula 1 at all levels.”
F1 promises that the stance “will not be a one week or one-year theme that disappears as issues disappear from headlines, it will underpin the Formula 1 strategy to make a tangible difference in our sport and society”. CEO and chairman Chase Carey says F1 has a key role to play as the first international sport to restart its world championship, and wants to use its platform to show a wide audience it is committed to making changes.
“Our first race in Austria at the start of July is a big moment for our sport after nearly four months of no racing,” Carey said. “While it is an important moment for the Formula 1 community it is also a time to recognize 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 Formula 1 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 Formula 1 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 1 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.”