Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says F1 teams must show 'real commitment' to improving diversity

ITV News Sports Editor Steve Scott speaks to Mercedes boss Toto Wolff about diversity in Formula One and what more can be done to improve representation

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has called for "real commitment" from teams within Formula 1 to help tackle racism, as he suggested actions are more valuable than social media posts in improving diversity.

The comments came as Lewis Hamilton demanded F1 takes action against racism after three-time Formula One world champion Nelson Piquet used a racial slur against him.

Wolff said that Hamilton has long suffered from racism, having experienced it at school and as a youngster on the go-kart track - but said actions were needed to ensure others do not experience such discrimination in the future.

"I know from experiences from my wife who raced with him that he was literally called all the words you don't want to hear today," the Mercedes team principal told ITV News Sports Editor Steve Scott.

"That has been part of his upbringing, that is very much his scars and that's why a robust answer and a robust position is important."

'He was literally called all the words you don't want to hear today' Wolff said

The Mercedes boss said that Hamilton, the first Black F1 driver, "was very much the one that has carried the torch".

"I would very much hope that teams don't remain silent but actually follow," he continued.

"Not only follow with a few Instagram posts but also follow up with real commitment, with real actions and with real funding."

Wolff added that he wants to see more drivers from under-represented groups in Formula 1, including women and people from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds.

He had been attending a watch auction led by team sponsor and watchmakers IWC where all the proceeds would be going to Hamilton’s Ignite initiative, which is wanting to increase diversity and inclusion within motorsport.

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His comments follow Hamilton calling for Bernie Ecclestone to be censored after the 91-year-old said he would “take a bullet” for Vladimir Putin.

The seven-time world champion also said Sir Jackie Stewart, 83, who was instrumental in shaping modern Formula One, should be censored, having said Hamilton should “resign” after struggling for results this season.

“I don’t know why we are continuing to give these older voices a platform,” Hamilton explained ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix. “They are speaking for our sport, but we are looking to go somewhere different and they are not representative of who we are now in the sport and where we are planning to go. “If we are looking to grow our audiences in places like the US and South Africa, we need to be giving the younger people a platform that is more representative of today’s time and who we are trying to be."