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Formula 1

F1 unveils plans to improve diversity following Hamilton Commission report

Formula 1 has announced a scholarship and internship plan which focuses on underrepresented groups

Lewis BLM Hamilton
To news overview © Mercedes

Formula 1 has revealed details of its push to improve diversity in the sport as part of the 'We Race As One' plan which was launched in June 2020.

Ten Formula 1 Engineering Scholarships will be made available for students from “underrepresented groups including ethnic minorities, women, and those from under-privileged backgrounds”. The full cost of tuition will be covered and a living stipend will be provided.

All 10 F1 teams have committed to provide work experience opportunities to a scholar during their time at university, with the partner institutions being based across the UK and Italy.

The Formula 1 Apprentice Programme will see two long-term apprentices from underrepresented groups within our organisation in 2021. The apprenticeships will begin in September and have a focus on mechanical engineering.

"We want to be as diverse as our fanbase and that is why we are taking action to ensure talented people from underrepresented groups have the best opportunities to get into, and build, a fantastic career in this amazing sport,” said F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali.

“I am delighted to announce that scholars, apprentices and interns will get the chance to fulfil their dreams in Formula 1 and I know they have amazing futures ahead of them.

“I want to pay particular thanks to Chase [Carey] whose generous [$1million] donation is funding the 10 scholarships.”

F1's announcement comes following 10 months of research by the Hamilton Commission, spearheaded by Lewis Hamilton. The group has identified barriers to the recruitment and progression of black people in UK motorsport. The Hamilton Commission has released its findings and made 10 recommendations to address the issues.

These include:

  • Asking that Formula 1 teams (and other Motorsports organisations) take the lead in implementing a Diversity and Inclusion Charter for motorsport to commit the sector to improve diversity and inclusion across all organisations.
  • Calling for Formula 1 teams and other motorsport businesses to broaden access to motorsport by expanding the apprenticeships provision to include higher apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships as an alternate pathway into the sector, as well as availability to paid work placement and work experience schemes.
  • Establishment of a new exclusions innovation fund, to develop programmes that address the factors that contribute to the high proportion of students from Black backgrounds being excluded from schools.
  • Supporting the piloting of new approaches to increase the number of Black teachers in STEM subjects that lead to careers in engineering, namely mathematics, physics, design and technology, and computing.
  • Supporting the creation of scholarship programmes to enable Black graduates from degrees in engineering and allied subjects to progress into specialist motorsport roles.
  • Calling for additional STEM activity support to be provided to supplementary schools led by Black community groups across the UK.

Hamilton has revealed that he will personally be involved in the efforts to create more equality in motorsport.

“I'm really hoping that we can take the industry on a journey with us, and unite, so that we can make long lasting, meaningful progress,” said Hamilton. “We've already had a lot of positive feedback from the key stakeholders, which is amazing to see.

“In addition to launching this report, we're also identifying the best parties and organisations to engage with, and also those that can also carry out our recommendations going forward, to ensure that the findings do not go ignored.

“This really is at the core of it, for me. It had to be not only great findings in whatever we find: the important thing is that we actually action it.”

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