Six-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton is to set up a commission to try to increase diversity and boost BAME’s representation in motorsport.
Hamilton, who said he felt “so much anger, sadness and disbelief” over the death of George Floyd, spoke widely about race in light of the Minneapolis murder protests. The Mercedes driver said his commission’s aim would be to ensure that the sport “became as diverse as the complex and multicultural world we live in”.
The 35-year-old wrote in the Sunday Times that racism was ‘all too familiar’ to me and said that while people were quick to condemn racist gestures like shouting monkey noises at black footballers, structural issues must also be resolved.
“I’ve battled the stigma of racism throughout my racing career, from kids throwing things at me in karting to mockery from black-faced fans at a grand prix. [in Spain in 2008]one of my first Formula 1 races,” said Hamilton.
“I’m used to being one of the few people of color on my teams and, more than that, I’m used to the idea that no one will speak up for me when I’m faced with racism because no one feels or understands. personally my experience.”
Hamilton described the project as a “research partnership, dedicated to exploring how motorsport can be used as a way to engage more young people from black backgrounds in science, technology, engineering and math, or Stem materials. The ultimate goal, Hamilton added, is to “employ them in our teams or in other areas of engineering.”
In May, Hamilton criticized his F1 colleagues on Instagram. “I see those of you who remain silent, some of you are the biggest stars, but you remain silent in the midst of injustice,” he said. “I would have thought now you would see why this is happening and say something about it, but you can’t support us.
Hamilton wrote in The Sunday Times that “the institutional barriers that have kept F1 highly exclusive persist”, adding that the thousands of people employed in motorsport need to be more representative of society. “Winning championships is great, but I want to be remembered for my work in creating a more equal society through education,” he added.