Motor sport

Lewis Hamilton’s report on improving the diversity of motorsport makes recommendations

Seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton has released his long-awaited report on Improving Diversity in Motorsport, offering 10 recommendations for bringing lasting change to the industry.

The British driver has gone to his knee before every F1 race since the start of last season as he persuaded his Mercedes team to paint their cars black in a defiant crusade against racism.

Last year he created the Hamilton Commission and a 14-member board of directors delivered its findings, calling for a diversity and inclusion charter to be implemented across F1 teams and other organizations. of motorsport.

Lewis Hamilton is a seven-time Formula 1 (PA) world champion

Paid internship and work experience programs, as well as support for the creation of scholarship programs to enable black degree graduates to advance into specialist roles in motorsport have also been offered.

It will take time to digest the “comprehensive and impressive report,” according to Stefano Domenicali, but the F1 CEO has said that the hierarchy “strongly agrees that we need to increase diversity in the sport “.

Hamilton said: “If they have the right opportunities and the right support, young people can be great at whatever they think about.

“But our research shows that many black youth are excluded from opportunities within STEM (subjects – science, technology, engineering and math) and see their full potential limited.”

The board of commissioners – which includes former Hamilton boss at McLaren, Martin Whitmarsh – has been invited for their knowledge in areas such as motorsport, politics, education and engineering.

Their research highlighted several factors that have contributed to a situation where only 1% of F1 employees are of black descent, including hiring practices that favor students from a select group of top-tier universities and a lack of black role models in STEM. teaching posts.

“Although I have had a successful career in motorsport, it has been a lonely road as one of the few black individuals in Formula 1,” Hamilton added.

“After 15 years of waiting for the industry to catch up, I realized I had to act on my own. To do this, I needed to understand what was preventing the industry from being as diverse as the world around it.

“Through the commission’s research, we can see that the motorsport industry needs to take clear and meaningful steps to create a more inclusive environment where diversity can thrive, but also that we need to overcome the barriers facing students. black people who exist throughout their educational journey.

Stefano Domenicali says F1 bosses recognize that
Stefano Domenicali says F1 bosses recognize that “we need to increase diversity in sport” (David Davies / PA)

The report, titled “Accelerating Change: Improving Black Representation in British Motorsport,” took 10 months to compile, with 10 actionable, research-driven recommendations to contribute to lasting change.

Domenicali said: “The Hamilton Commission delivered a comprehensive and impressive report which shows Lewis’s passion for this very important issue.

“We will take the time to read and reflect on all the findings, but we totally agree that we need to increase diversity in sport and we have taken steps to address this issue and we will announce other actions in the coming days.

“We want a sport that is representative of our extremely diverse fan base and that is why Formula 1, the FIA ​​and all the teams are working hard to implement our detailed plans to create positive change in the sport. always has more to do and the report will stimulate reflection on what further action is needed. ”