Formula One cars will display rainbows, a symbol of unity against racism, in the first race at Austria. Image Credit: Supplied picture

Dubai: Formula 1 announced a #WeRaceAsOne initiative as the sport gets ready to resume the season with a truncated calender in early July. This initiative will be aimed at tackling the biggest issues facing sport and global society - COVID 19 and racism.

Launching the initiative, a F1 press release says: ‘‘Recognising the two major issues dominating society’s consciousness at this time, COVID-19 and inequality, we will use our opening race to thank people around the world for the incredible strength and fortitude they have shown against a global pandemic. Everyone from key workers through to families and individuals that have endured lockdown to tackle the virus deserve our thanks and gratitude.

‘‘Equally, we want to use our restart to show that we as a sporting community stand united against racism and are doing more to address inequality and diversity in Formula 1.

‘‘Therefore, ahead of our first race in Austria on July 3-5 and with the support of the teams and our partners, Formula 1 will be saying thank you to key workers and individuals around the world by displaying rainbows on the Formula 1 cars and around the race circuit with the hashtag #WeRaceAsOne. 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. The rainbow initiative will continue throughout the season,’’ the statement said.

The race weekend in Austria promises to take a stand against racism, which will include visual displays of support in the fight against racism. ‘‘In addition to the visual display of support, we will also announce later this week clear pledges to increase diversity and opportunity in our sport. This will include setting up a Formula 1 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,’’ the statement added.