Mercedes 2022 change leaks early ahead of new Lewis Hamilton and George Russell link-up

Mercedes are reportedly set to revert back to the silver livery in 2022 after two years of donning a black paint job. George Russell will join the team alongside Lewis Hamilton next season after the team won an eighth consecutive Constructors’ Championship title in 2021. Unveiling their 2021 challenger, the team retained its striking black livery for Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas to drive as a sign of their commitment to improving diversity and inclusion within Mercedes, and Formula One as a whole.

Yet, according to BILD, amid rumours Mercedes will switch back to silver for 2022, a decision has already been made that they will do so.

Over the past two years, the team has run a special black livery, which they switched to before the start of the heavily delayed 2020 season, however, there were elements of the traditional racing silver visible on the car with AMG proudly presented on the engine cover.

The move was a show of support for equality and diversity, and to make a stand against discrimination and racism, an issue very close to Hamilton’s heart.

Speaking at the start of the 2021 season, team boss Toto Wolff said: “The black livery that we had last year became an iconic livery, and we are very proud about the message behind this livery, and also how it looked.

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“This year, it’s very similar, but the silver keeps sneaking back in, but at the end of the day it is a silver arrow, that is our heritage and we’re very proud of carrying that.”

Mercedes have dominated in F1 since the switch to turbo-hybrid engines in 2014, picking up every Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championship since that year, until Red Bull’s Max Verstappen put an end to that this year.

Hamilton had only once been beaten by his team-mate Nico Rosberg before he came to blows with Verstappen this season in a fierce battle.

Fighting for a record-breaking eighth title, Hamilton was on course to win the title-deciding season finale in Abu Dhabi before a safety car and a controversial decision from the FIA race director Michael Masi swung the championship win back towards Verstappen.

The Dutchman stormed to victory after a last-lap lunge on Hamilton, crossing the line first to seal the deal at Yas Marina.

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Despite a slight delay in confirmation that he had won due to Mercedes lodging an intent to review the controversial ending, Verstappen was left elated with his team as he picked up a maiden F1 title.

“I love them so much. And I really really enjoy working with them…I hope we can do this for 10-15 years together,” Verstappen told Sky Sports.

“It’s been an incredible season, not only this race but incredible battles,” he said. “To be sitting here right now: that’s an unbelievable achievement…I think over the whole season, we were not the quickest team.

“Lewis is an amazing driver, an amazing competitor. They really made it really really hard for us and I think everyone loved to see it.

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