Reigning Formula One world champions Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have agreed to expand their joint commitment to improving the representation of minority ethnic groups in UK motorsport.
This expanded commitment is due to take the form of a joint charitable foundation, which is designed to support wider diversity in motorsport and nurture talent that would otherwise be overlooked.
Last June, in partnership with Royal Academy of Engineering, Hamilton, with Mercedes, launched The Hamilton Commission – a standalone piece of research designed to identify and improve the representation and progression of black and other minority groups in UK motorsport, while also providing actionable recommendations to overcome barriers to entry in the STEM sector.
Speaking of the expanding partnership, Hamilton commented, “I’m equally determined to continue the journey we started to make motorsport more diverse for future generations and I am grateful that Mercedes has been extremely supportive of my call to address this issue. I’m proud to say we are taking that effort further this year by launching a foundation dedicated to diversity and inclusion in the sport. I am inspired by all that we can build together and can’t wait to get back on the track in March.”
Toto Wolff, CEO and Team Principal of the Mercedes F1 team, chimed in, noting that this was the right time to “begin a longer-term project to take the next step in our shared commitment to greater diversity within our sport.”
Mercedes’ Non-Executive Chairman, Markus Schäfer, added that, “Lewis is a warm-hearted personality who cares deeply about the world around him and wants to make an impact. As a company, Mercedes-Benz shares this sense of responsibility and is proud to commit to a new, joint foundation to improve diversity in motorsport. Opening the sport to under-represented groups will be important for its development in the future and we’re determined to make a positive impact.”
As as aside, it was also revealed that Hamilton has signed a one-year extension with Mercedes, as he looks to claim an eighth Formula One title – an achievement that would take him beyond the seven won by Michael Schumacher between 1994 and 2004.