F1 sets up initiatives for under-represented groups

Jon Wilde
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Formula 1 logo

Formula 1 has announced a new programme of scholarships, apprenticeships and intern placements to help boost diversity in the sport.

Engineering scholarships will be provided for 10 students from under-represented groups, including ethnic minorities, women and those from under-privileged backgrounds.

With $1million in funding via a personal contribution from F1 non-executive chairman Chase Carey, the full cost of each student’s tuition will be provided, together with a living stipend.

All 10 F1 teams have committed to provide work experience opportunities to a scholar during their time at university.

Scholars will be part of the September 2021 intake of undergraduate courses in the UK and Masters (Postgraduate) in Italy.

The University of Oxford and Strathclyde University will have two scholarships each, the University of Cambridge, Coventry University and Manchester Metropolitan University one apiece and the Motorvehicle University of Emilia-Romagna in Italy three.

Also, F1 will take on two long-term apprentices from under-represented groups, beginning in September, with a focus on mechanical engineering.

Six interns from under-represented groups will be offered roles across the organisation in 2021, with a mix of short and longer-term placements.

A statement from F1 read: “We believe that as a truly international sport, we can make a difference by using our voice and determination to address these vital issues.

“Formula 1 is a sport that represents millions of global fans and we want to take steps to ensure we are as diverse and inclusive in our own community as the communities we serve around the world.”

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F1 president and chief executive Stefano Domenicali said: “Formula 1 is a global sport with fans across the world. We want to be as diverse as our fanbase and that is why we are taking direct action to ensure talented people from under-represented groups have the best opportunities to get into, and build, a fantastic career in this amazing sport.”

The announcement comes after Lewis Hamilton published his report into improving diversity in motorsport following the establishment last year of the Hamilton Commission.

The report, which found only 1% of F1 employees are from black backgrounds, put forward 10 recommendations including proposals relating to scholarships, apprenticeships and work experience.

Domenicali added: “Our #WeRaceAsOne platform (launched last year) is our commitment to make real change and shows our recognition that we know we must make a positive contribution to the world we live in.

“All of the teams are committed to this and the work of the Hamilton Commission shows the dedication to addressing these issues across Formula 1.

“Our focus is on diversity and inclusion, sustainability and community and we will continue to drive forward with our plans to be more diverse, more sustainable and leave a lasting positive impact on the countries and communities we visit.

“We know we must continue to move forward on these issues and the whole sport is united in doing this in the months and years ahead.”

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