Hamilton Commission recommends actions for a more diverse F1

LONDON: A commission set up by Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton to help increase the number of blacks in British motorsport released its report Tuesday with 10 recommendations for change and damning information about the industry.

The report, led by the Royal Academy of Engineering, found that none of the seven UK-based Formula 1 teams or the 4,000 UK motorsport companies had ethnic data for employees.

One estimate, however, suggested that only 1% of 40,000 employees were black.

Rhys Morgan, director of the Royal Academy, told reporters the research had also found examples of “pretty horrific racist comments”, which he said were dismissed as “jokes”.

A Formula 1 engineer said he heard jokes about black people, Afro combs, fried chicken, crime rates and poverty in Africa, while a black woman spoke of people speaking to her with a Jamaican accent.

The commission found a number of barriers to diversity, including hiring from a select group of top universities, rural team locations, and systemic underperformance in schools.

Black students also felt motorsport was not for them, while a cost cap introduced this season created a potential barrier to hiring more apprentices.

Recommendations include asking Formula 1 teams to implement a diversity and inclusion charter for motorsport and possible cost cap exemptions for hiring black staff.

“A lot of teams are reacting to this,” Morgan said. “We look forward to exploring this further with the FIA ​​and Formula 1.”

The report, released during British Grand Prix week at Silverstone, proposed the creation of a fund to develop programs to tackle factors contributing to high school exclusion rates among original students. black.

He also suggested experimenting with new approaches to increase the number of black teachers in subjects leading to engineering careers and the creation of scholarship programs.

Hamilton, the only black rider in the sport who was kicked out of school as a youngster, hoped the report would trigger a “ripple effect” for change and saw him as a big part of his legacy in the sport. automobile.

“I would like to be remembered for more than just winning championships which of course is an amazing thing in and of itself but actually for helping people and changing the industry and views,” did he declare.

“We all bleed the same way. There is no reason why it should not be as diverse as the world around us. If I’m able to move the needle one way or another … that’s what I’m working towards. “

Formula 1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali hailed a “comprehensive and impressive” report.

“We will take the time to read and reflect on all the conclusions, but we totally agree that we need to increase diversity in sport,” he said. – AFP

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