Diversity push a priority in Ferrari F1 talks

Throughout his 12-year tenure at Mercedes, Hamilton increasingly ramped up his efforts to increase diversity and inclusion in motorsport, which gradually involved the Mercedes team itself.

After highlighting the lack of diversity in the sector through the Hamilton Commission, the seven-time world champion and Mercedes launched the Ignite charity to give people from diverse backgrounds a better chance to pursue a career in STEM subjects.

The charity initially worked closely with Hamilton’s personal foundation Mission 44, which aims to address the lack of racial diversity in STEM teaching staff across the UK, and has since been incorporated into Mission 44.

When asked to which extent his off-track projects will continue once he leaves Mercedes for Ferrari in 2025, Hamilton said his diversity push was a key topic in his talks with Ferrari chairman John Elkann.

«Of course, [if] you look at Ferrari, they have a lot of work to do, so I’ve already made that a priority in speaking with John,» Hamilton replied. «And they’re super excited to work on it also.»

Commenting on how Mercedes has become a more diverse organisation under his watch, Hamilton said: «Firstly, I’m immensely proud of the work that we’ve done within Mercedes. Since 2020, we’ve made some real great strides in improving the diversity within the team.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, George Russell, Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, George Russell, Mercedes

Photo by: Jake Grant / Motorsport Images

«And for example, within HR we’ve got a diverse HR group and that will continue beyond me, which is something I’m really proud of.

«I think we are ahead of every other team in that respect, and there still is a huge amount of work within the whole sport, of which I’m speaking to Stefano [Domenicali, F1 CEO] constantly and looking to work more with Formula 1.»

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Since its founding in December 2021, Mission 44 raised £11.2m in donations, including £7m by Hamilton himself, who has pledged a total of £20m. 

In its first year the charity awarded grants to 18 institutions to support various diversity efforts across education and employment in the UK, while looking to expand its footprint to South Africa, the United States and Brazil.

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