Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2020

FIA working with Hamilton Commission on diversity goals

2020 British Grand Prix

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The FIA is working with Lewis Hamilton’s recently-announced diversity commission to help promote the sport to new participants from non-traditional backgrounds.

Hamilton and FIA president Jean Todt discussed the issue ahead of the British Grand Prix.

“We had a very constructive, very good discussion,” Todt told media including RaceFans ahead of the British Grand Prix. “It was an informal exchange.

“What is very important it’s not just one contact,” said Todt, “but to make a programme and to monitor it and to know that it takes time, unfortunately.”

Todt said a co-ordinated approach involving the FIA, F1 and other organisations is necessary to tackle the lack of diversity in motor racing, a cause Hamilton has passionately championed.

“I give credit to what Chase Carey decided to create a movement to make a private donation, which incidentally was matched by the FIA, to address matters of diversity education. So in a way for me that is essential because that is a fact, [there] are actions. If we want to progress, we need a coordinated actions.

“In the FIA we have a department, a lady which is specifically working on that, directly working in my cabinet to address that. And incidentally, she’s also collaborating with the Hamilton Commission. So there is a lot which we have been doing, a lot we intend to do and I’m happy to support as long as it remains in the line we consider which has to be respected.”

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Hamilton and several other drivers had also criticised the poor organisation of the anti-racism ceremony ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix. For today’s British Grand Prix the FIA has arranged for an official observance which has been given a dedicated time slot in the schedule.

F1’s anti-racism ceremony will be “more structured”, said Todt
“That’s to address the situation in a more structured way,” said Todt. “When it was addressed for the first race in Austria, we felt it went the way we wanted. Probably the next races were not as settled as they should have been. That is why we have addressed that.”

Todt praised Hamilton’s dedicated to the causes of anti-racism and diversity. He said the FIA will support it as far as they can, but stressed it would not promote “political messages”.

“I do respect somebody who has beliefs and who tries to use his image, his voice, his leadership to protect something,” said Todt.

“There are so many things, unfortunately, we want to improve. I’m very much involved as the FIA president and as the UN special envoy for road safety about the victims on the roads: 1.4 million people will die on the road; 500 kids die on the road every day; between 30 to 50 million people are injured with disabilities on the road.

“So I do believe, I do admire people who do engage for something where they feel they can bring something. So clearly, if you can bring something to that, I admire that. And as much that we will be able to contribute, we will do it.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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21 comments on “FIA working with Hamilton Commission on diversity goals”

  1. “Non-traditional backgrounds”. Does this include people from lower social class, from working families too?
    That’s a minority in F1 including both black and white.

    1. Doubt it. It’s clear ham’s obsessed with hue. He wasn’t moaning about the team photos because of the lack of working class employees.

    2. I think it depends on the approach the Commission takes (which I’m quite interested to see). If they really follow the research, both quant and qual, a lot of it does point towards the need to tackle racism and classism in tandem. Whilst they aren’t the same, some of the studies I’ve seen do really expand on how related they are (which is probably intuitive, but it needs to be fully understood to do anything, I think).

      I’m hoping the Hamilton Commission will publish what they’re seeking to do and what kind of actions they’re taking. I realise in its early stages, there will be a lot of discussions behind closed doors, but I think transparency will help maximise its chances of making a positive difference.

      1. @simon999 Do you have a link to such a study? I’d be interested to read more about this. I brought it up because indeed I believe classism is a big issue, and I think if you solve that, you’ll solve discrimination too. I won’t be calling it racism. There is no white or black race.. there is just one human race. Discrimination is a true issue, and it’s not exclusive to skin colour…

    3. Well he works with inner city schools (Alperton), Honeypot, Unicef, military hospitals, homeless shelters (harlem zone), togetherband, GOSH, Small Steps Project and Stevenage Keech Hospice childrens division amongst others. And he has recently given Children in Need £1 million to spend on disadvantaged children. But as far as I know he hasn’t stipulated some sort of criteria based on colour. So I expect it’s his usual caveat-disadvantaged.
      Although he does also work in traditional black areas such as Renaissance, EducationAfrica and a few Bame organisations. So that may ruffle a few sensibilities on here.

    4. That was certainly what Hamilton explicitly mentioned when he presented this Commision @spafrancorchamps

      1. @bascb That’s good. I hope they will make this bigger than a black and white thing as I don’t think that’s the source of the problem.. classism is. It may just tend to hurt black people more.

  2. Anyone here a racist? No I didn’t think so. So move on F1, there is nothing to see here.

    1. abananasplitz
      2nd August 2020, 14:51

      +1 if you are good enough who gives an F about your skin tone, f1 is a competition so if you are good enough you’ll get in on merit and ofc hard work and dedication on your part.

      1. In an ideal world, you’re absolutely right. The problem is there do genuinely seem to be a number of factors that means it’s not really like that. I don’t think it’s currently very well understood (by anyone) how pervasive systemic inequality really is, and how it really works.

        It’s not just a question of people simply not being overtly racist, it’s all the ways that things are done that have built up over time, based on historic oppression of certain groups. But it’s hard to see because its not overt or even intentional in a lot of cases.

        I think its also why a lot of people have the reaction of “what’s the problem?” and think people like Hamilton are making a fuss over nothing. The problems are not obvious, but they are real. The real challenge is to be able to help people understand those problems and what could be done, then I think people would support it. It’s hard to support something when you don’t really know what the problems are.

    2. So the poster who has recently joined who throws out racist dog whistles and has a well know KKK name, meaning ‘an animal that rips black people to bits’ is not a racist? You don’t think so? Err, OK.

  3. Is this about putting the Hamilton name out there or about diversity? Why is called the ´Hamilton’ commission? That’s poor taste imho.

    1. I do not think it is actually called that at all @jeffreyj. It might not have a name yet, or the actual name is a long mouthfull to say.

      Here it would be pretty clear to everyone that the reference is to the Commission installed at the instigation of the F1 multiple world champion L. Hamilton, a reference I am sure everyone on this cite gets immediately.

  4. help promote the sport to new participants from non-traditional backgrounds.

    yes, let’s have some engeneers and mechanics without a degree, just because they’re not white.

    1. Actually, “let’s do fact finding and then come up with ways to make it easier for people in lower social classes, as well as people from a wider variety of “race” and gender than the typical white male people who dominate motorsport get into motorsport at all meaningfull levels”

  5. This getting old, fast.

  6. Extremely curious as to how this will be implemented. Lots of talk…havent seen any plans yet.

    1. I would imagine the Royal Academy of Engineers will produce an interim report which will be distributed to interested parties. Meanwhile the name ‘Hamilton’ will be generating funding to pay for it all and he will open up a few resource avenues as a UN Ambassador.

    2. That would be because, as @riptimde mentions, the first step is to actually research where the largest obstacles are, and how these might be alleviated to get to the target @jaymenon10.

      As I understand, they have started working on that, but off course do not yet have the results ready nor did they get to the next step of formulating the HOW yet (that would be bad, if they already had the answers ready beforehand, right.)

  7. Be careful who you pretend to be, you might forget who you are…”

  8. So the commentary in this article appears to be carefully navigating a moderate path (Which is good), this piece stands out for me
    “Todt praised Hamilton’s dedicated to the causes of anti-racism and diversity. He said the FIA will support it as far as they can, but stressed it would not promote “political messages”.”
    This looks like just maybe Hamilton has been told they will work together but he will also have to pull his head in and stop with the political agenda and focus on ending racism in a non abrasive manner. I.E. I expect to see less BLM talk and less Black Power salutes from Ham and a more “End Racism” tone going forward.
    If this is the case then I think many of the concerns and issues discusses in the various posts on this site over the past few months may be addressed in a sane, organised and non radical manner. I do hope I am right as I can see good things coming from an organised and intelligent approach to addressing issues.

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