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Hamilton and Mercedes launch charitable diversity and inclusion initiative

NEWS STORY
27/07/2021

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have announced the launch of Ignite, a joint charitable initiative with the mission of supporting greater diversity and inclusion within motorsport.

"Building on the recommendations of The Hamilton Commission, and as part of our shared vision for developing our industry and our team to reflect wider society, Ignite will focus its work on increasing the pipeline of more diverse talent aiming to enter the motorsport industry - and igniting and inspiring enthusiasm for motorsport through STEM education," said the team in an official statement.

"The focus of effort for the UK-focused initiative will include but not be limited to: 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."

"I am delighted today that we can finally talk about our plans for the Ignite initiative," said Toto Wolff. "Since we announced our intention with Lewis at the start of the year to create a joint project, a great deal of work and discussion has taken place in the background to refine our aims and our mission.

"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."

"Mercedes have long supported my ambition to improve diversity and inclusion within the motorsport industry," added Lewis Hamilton. "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."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by kenji, 28/07/2021 11:36

"Since posting there have been numerous reports stating that Hamilton is fronting up with 20 million British pounds as his contribution but the source of this quote remains a mystery! Is it true or is it a media makeup ? Will it be in the form of a lump sum? My guess is that any contribution will most likely be in multiple small increments so as to enable it to be a tax write off over a period of time. "

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2. Posted by kenji, 28/07/2021 0:48

"@ Elsiebc You are correct. Hamilton's definition of racial selectivity is totally wrong and discriminatory. If he wants to open up opportunities for those whom he feels are discriminated then against the terms of reference should be open to all 'non white' aspirants. Even then that can be argued as being discriminatory. This is woke wedge politics and should be totally outlawed from F1."

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3. Posted by flyinglap, 27/07/2021 20:53

"Just bring back the grid girls :) Enough discrimination already!"

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4. Posted by elsiebc, 27/07/2021 18:17

"When diversity is your focus, talent and ability are, by definition, ranked lower. The way to end racism is to not categorize everyone by their race. "

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5. Posted by Max Noble, 27/07/2021 13:40

"Totally applaud this effort. Anything that helps those with talent, but lacking backing is to be commended. Those that know me might recall I launched an “Ignite” initiative back in 2007, so I have to complement them on the name too :-) - Wish them every success, and look forward to other teams efforts in a similar direction. "

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