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Formula 1

F1 reveals scholarships and other support to boost diversity

by Scott Mitchell-Malm
2 min read

Formula 1 has revealed details of a range of new university scholarships, work placements, internships and apprenticeships for aspiring workers from underrepresented backgrounds.

Last year, the efforts of seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton encouraged F1 to explore ways of improving diversity in a White-male-dominated industry.

The championship set up a ‘We Race As One’ initiative to tackle diversity and sustainability issues and within that launched a new foundation to fund apprenticeships and scholarships for underrepresented groups, with then-CEO Chase Carey personally pledging $1million towards it.

Chase Carey F1

This week, Hamilton’s collaborative effort the Royal Academy of Engineering – the Hamilton Commission – released a detailed report into the root causes of the lack of Black representation in F1 and UK motorsport as well as outlining a number of recommendations.

Carey’s successor as F1 boss Stefano Domenicali called the Hamilton Commission’s work a “comprehensive and impressive report” that F1 will “take the time to read and reflect on”.

In addition to this, F1 is pressing on with its own efforts and has now announced it is funding 10 scholars across six universities with a placement at every F1 team during their studies.

Three scholars will be supported at The Motorvehicle University of Emilia-Romagna in Italy, two each at Oxford and Strathclyde, and one at Cambridge, Coventry and Manchester Metropolitan.

There will be a mix of six short- and long-term internships at F1 and two “long-term” apprenticeships, designed to lead to permanent roles.

“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 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 whose generous donation is funding the 10 scholarships.”

Earlier in the week, prior to the publication of his report, Hamilton told select media including The Race that he was buoyed by conversations with the FIA and F1 about how to carry out work in the name of diversity.

Lewis Hamilton Mercedes F1

The Hamilton Commission felt there was a positive response from F1 teams to the suggestion of exempting apprenticeships from their budget caps, and wants such schemes expanded to provide financial assistance for travel, subsistence and accommodation where necessary, along with forms of remuneration.

“This really is just the beginning,” Hamilton said. “And I couldn’t be more excited. The time to change is now.”

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