Ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have announced that they have launched a joint charitable initiative to continue the diversity push in motorsport.
The new initiative will be referred to as Ignite which has been established influenced by the Hamilton Commission. The seven-time world champion’s initiative published its first report on diversity in motorsport earlier this month, making 10 recommendations for change. ‘Ignite’ is set to ignite and inspire enthusiasm for motorsport through STEM education, trying to increase the pipeline of more diverse talent aiming to enter the motorsport industry.
According to a statement issued by Mercedes, the charity will focus on "developing exciting and stimulating STEM curriculum materials; developing more diverse educators to role model and inspire students from under-represented groups in STEM; enhancing education enrichment opportunities around STEM and motorsport; and providing financial support to talented and motivated students wishing to pursue careers in STEM and motorsport but who don’t have the means.
"Ignite will initially be funded by a multi-million-dollar fund created by Lewis and the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team, and will work closely with Lewis’s personal foundation, Mission 44, to deliver tangible results for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team and the wider UK motorsport industry."
"Opening up motorsport and becoming a more diverse and inclusive team are fundamental to our team’s values and, with the full support of Mercedes-Benz, we are committed to making a positive impact on society and building a platform from which future generations can access and enjoy our fantastic sport. Ignite will complement our team’s own Accelerate 25 programme, and through these platforms we hope to see much more talent from under-represented groups both join our team and take up careers in the wider motorsport industry, " Wolff concluded.
Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton added: “Mercedes have long supported my ambition to improve diversity and inclusion within the motorsport industry. I am so thrilled that, through Ignite, we are able to formally work together to achieve this. Diverse workforces are not only more successful but are also the morally correct approach for any industry.
"The findings of The Hamilton Commission have provided us a fantastic base to begin our work, and I am confident that Ignite will result in real, tangible change within motorsport. For 15 years, I have remained one of the few Black employees within Formula 1, and I am proud that my work with Mercedes is going to change that for the better," Hamilton said.