Of the approximately 40,000 employees involved in Formula 1 and motorsport, less than 1% are black. This was one of the findings of the Hamilton Commission, which was developed by Lewis Hamilton in partnership with the British Royal Academy of Engineering to identify barriers to motorsport for people suffering from racism. The study asked teams to survey inclusion efforts, a request returned by Alfa Romeo, Alpine, Haas, Mercedes, McLaren and Williams. Ferrari, RBR, AlphaTauri and Aston Martin did not participate.
- Hamilton commission proposes measures to increase racial diversity in F1
Over the course of ten months, the commission analyzed the factors that contribute to the underrepresentation of technical positions in motorsport, from the early years of school to the selection processes for teams that, according to the initiative, give priority to candidates from the upper classes and elite institutions.
Stephanie Travers, fluid engineer at Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton – Photo: Disclosure
Among the proposals proposed by the group to combat the problem are public education policies and measures that include promoting more comprehensive F1 training programs and initiatives that encourage, guide and support blacks.
Hamilton F1 Team, Mercedes has replaced traditional silver for cars with black as a reminder of anti-racism and launched the Accelerate 25 program which aims to increase the number of employees experiencing racism from 3% to 25% by 2025. In addition to internal promotion of diversity training, it has collaborated with AFBE- UK, the UK Society of Black and Minority Engineers, and a British School for Girls to Promote Scientific Careers.
Engaging in mental health promotion, McLaren last year created a ten-year strategic plan to promote diversity and inclusion in Formula 1, and also established a committee responsible for ensuring that team selection processes are not exclusive.
RBR power unit technician Callum Nicholas is one of the few blacks seen in F1 – Image: Reproduction/Instagram
Dedicated to promoting gender equality and people with disabilities in sport, Williams emphasized in his case study that he’s also started working with the inclusion of people with racism and LGBTQI+. The British team was the first team to have a female boss, Claire Williams, and it has already selected Britain’s Susie Wolff as its test driver. Currently, W Series champ Jimmy Chadwick is the team’s reserve driver.
Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi’s F1 team, Alfa Romeo has revealed that it is part of a partnership with the Competence Center for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. The Foundation provides training and helps companies and brands promote internal diversity policies.
Drivers are currently taking part in the We Race as One (“We Race as One”) initiative ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix – Photo: Peter Fox / Getty Images
Haas included in her case study for the Hamilton Commission that she uses neutral language in internal communications and policies, and that she has expanded the hiring process to include non-elite organizations. The team ensured that it encourages diversity training and that it also democratizes selection processes.
Alpine, in turn, stated that it is working with campaigns and media events on the issue in Asia, the Middle East, North and South America, and Europe. The team of Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon are also organizing projects with universities and schools that seek to promote female participation in engineering, as well as a partnership with student support foundation The Talent Tap.
F1 England GP info and schedules – Photo: Infoesporte
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