Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton said that after his report on improving the diversity of motorsports was released, he hopes to be remembered for “helping people and changing industries and perspectives”.
The seventh British world champion took action immediately after noticing the lack of diversity in photos at the end of the 2019 season and subsequently established the Hamilton Committee. Since the start of last season, the 36-year-old Hamilton has knelt before every race and persuaded his Mercedes team to paint their cars black to highlight discrimination.
The Committee’s report “Accelerating Change: Increasing the Representation of Blacks in British Motorsports” called on F1 teams and other motorsport organizations to implement a diversity and inclusion charter.
Expanding the scope of learning to include higher education and undergraduate studies as an alternative to the industry is one of the other suggestions to try to attract underrepresented groups to join F1.
Paid job placement and work experience programs, as well as support for the establishment of scholarship programs, allow black graduates to be promoted from degrees to professional positions in motorsports.
Hamilton, the only black driver in F1 told that he hoped the findings would be “part of my legacy”.
“I would like to be remembered for much more than winning championships, which is an amazing thing on its own, but for actually helping people and changing the industry and the viewpoints,” he said.
“We are all the same. We all bleed the same. There is no reason why it shouldn’t be as diverse as the world around us.
“All it takes is the shift of the needle and then in the long-distance that can be a whole continent’s size. It could be huge.”
Hamilton said the commission, which included experts in motorsport, education, and engineering, had found that obstacles for black people ran deeper than issues in gaining access to the sport.
“We realize it’s not just the motorsport industry that needs to change,” said Hamilton. “We found there are still systemic issues facing young black people at all levels of the education system.”
Defending champion Hamilton, preparing for this weekend’s British Grand Prix, trails leader Max Verstappen by 32 points after nine rounds of the 2021 championship.