F1 ready to act as Hamilton Commission report released

Formula 1 chiefs say they are ready to act on efforts to improve the representation of black people in the sport, as the long-awaited Hamilton Commission report is published.

The report, inspired by seven-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton, is the culmination of 10 months of research looking into why black people are under-represented in the UK motorsport industry.

Led by the Royal Academy of Engineering, the work has been focused on trying to get answers as to why just one percent of employees in F1 are from black backgrounds.

And while some answers involve wider societal issues, such as lower expectations of black students’ academic abilities leading to lower entries to STEM subjects, plus behaviour management practices that disproportionately affect black students, other factors directly related to motorsport team practices have also emerged.

These include hiring practices within motorsport teams that favour students from just a select group of high-ranking universities, plus geographical factors which mean that opportunities for work experience at rural-based teams were out of reach for students from many black communities.

The Commission has outlined 10 recommendations that it believes need to be followed if it is to achieve improved diversity in motorsport. These include:

* Asking that F1 and other motorsport teams take the lead in implementing a Diversity and Inclusion Charter for motorsport, to commit the sector to improve diversity and inclusion across all organisations.

* Calling for F1 teams and other motorsport businesses to broaden access to motorsport by expanding the apprenticeships provision to include higher apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships as an alternate pathway into the sector, as well as availability to paid work placement and work experience schemes.

Mechanics move the car of Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12

Mechanics move the car of Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

* Establishment of a new exclusions innovation fund, to develop programmes that address the factors that contribute to the high proportion of students from black backgrounds being excluded from schools.

* Supporting the piloting of new approaches to increase the number of black teachers in STEM subjects that lead to careers in engineering, namely mathematics, physics, design and technology, and computing.

* Supporting the creation of scholarship programmes to enable black graduates from degrees in engineering and allied subjects to progress into specialist motorsport roles.

* Calling for additional STEM activity support to be provided to supplementary schools led by black community groups across the UK.

Read Also:

The report has also highlighted other factors in F1 that could hinder its progress, such as the new cost cap acting as a deterrent for teams to offer apprenticeships to young black students.

Rhys Morgan, director at The Royal Academy of Engineering who helped compile the report, said: “We think that the cost cap is a barrier for teams to recruit apprentices, because apprentice salaries will be included in the costs for improving the performance of the car.

“Why would a team take on a young 16-year-old, with no experience, when they could take on a time-served technician or mechanic, who's going to be able to start working on the car. We think there's an opportunity there to explore how to make some exclusions within the cost cap to encourage apprenticeship training.”

Stefano Domenicali, CEO, Formula 1

Stefano Domenicali, CEO, Formula 1

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

While the Hamilton Commission report has only just been released, the F1 organisation has already indicated that it will assess the recommendations – and has promised fresh actions imminently.

Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of Formula 1, said: “The Hamilton Commission has delivered a comprehensive and impressive report that shows the passion Lewis has for this very important issue.

“We will take the time to read and reflect on all of the findings, but we completely agree that we need to increase diversity across the sport. We have taken action to address this and will be announcing more actions in the coming days.

“We want a sport that is representative of our hugely diverse fan base and that is why Formula 1, the FIA and all the teams are working hard to deliver on our detailed plans to create positive change across the sport. There is always more to do and the report will stimulate thoughts about further actions that are required.”

Hamilton himself says that he will personally be involved in efforts to ensure that the Commission finds are acted upon and not forgotten.

“I'm really hoping that we can take the industry on a journey with us, and unite, so that we can make long lasting, meaningful progress,” he said. “We've already had a lot of positive feedback from the key stakeholders, which is amazing to see.

“In addition to launching this report, we're also identifying the best parties and organisations to engage with, and also those that can also carry out our recommendations going forward, to ensure that the findings do not go ignored.

“This really is at the core of it, for me. It had to be not only great findings in whatever we find: the important thing is that we actually action it.”

shares
comments

Related video

Lando Norris mugged at Wembley after Euro 2020 final

Previous article

Lando Norris mugged at Wembley after Euro 2020 final

Next article

How F1 team photos acted as Hamilton's wake-up call

How F1 team photos acted as Hamilton's wake-up call
Load comments
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Prime

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says Stuart Codling.

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Prime

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Prime

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Prime

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Prime

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1's elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he's recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Italian Grand Prix driver ratings

Two drivers produced faultless performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left many to rue what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Prime

Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Prime

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of "glory" if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1's other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021