Sir Lewis Hamilton and the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team have today 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 their shared vision for developing the industry and their 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.
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. 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. 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.”