F1 details plan to attract students from under-represented groups

2021 F1 season

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Formula 1 will place 10 students from under-represented backgrounds at universities in Britain and Italy to help broaden access to jobs in the sport.

The students at the universities of Cambridge, Oxford, Coventry, Manchester and Strathclyde in Britain, plus the Motor Vehicle University of Emilia-Romagna in Italy, will largely focus on engineering subjects.

Each student will also benefit from a work experience opportunity with a Formula 1 team. All 10 teams have committed to provide places.

A further two apprentices and six interns from under-represented groups will be placed at Formula 1, several on a long-term basis. F1 is working with multiple partners on its diversity and inclusion strategy.

Last year Formula 1 announced the creation of a task force to identify opportunities to increase the participation of under-represented groups in the sport. This included the creation of a foundation to give financial backing to, among other things, internship and apprenticeship opportunities in F1. It was backed by a $1 million donation from Chase Carey, who was F1’s CEO at the time.

The announcement follows the publication of the Hamilton Commission report on black representation in motorsport earlier this week which found a lack of data on the diversity of its workforce. The report claimed “fewer than one in a hundred people working in motorsport are black”.

Last year Stephanie Travers, a trackside engineer for Petronas, became the first black woman to accept a trophy in a Formula 1 podium ceremony, on behalf of Mercedes at the Styrian Grand Prix (pictured).

Stefano Domenicali, who took over from Carey as CEO earlier this year, said the sport wants “to be as diverse as our fan base”.

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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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  • 24 comments on “F1 details plan to attract students from under-represented groups”

    1. I do wonder if non engineering or non science field background people have a chance to work for an f1 team. Other than being the driver of a team lol. Of course, people who have a background in science fields do have more options for career opportunities.

      It’s nice to see that the sport is starting to move towards attracting other people from different parts of the world.

      1. F1 is such a technical sport that a science or engineering background is pretty much essential for the vast majority of roles within a team.

        The few exceptions would mainly be in the ‘soft’ side of the business, i.e. dealing with people rather than the cars. Such roles would include marketing, HR, catering, that kind of thing.

      2. I’d say there is probably quite a few of those jobs around in the F1 world too yeah (driver coaches, fitness people, just about anyone in marketing, commercial, support roles) @krichelle

      3. A lot of the crew you see on telly – mechanics, tyre technicians, etc – do not come from science and engineering backgrounds.

    2. What are those groups? Solely based on skin color? Other groups need not apply?

      1. Because they’re UNDER-REPRESENTED.

        Do try to keep up…

        1. @sonnycrockett I asked WHAT those group are, not WHY they are selected. Do try to keep up.

        2. So what!?!?!? Where is it written that every career has to have this many of this or that? That’s so insulting. Not lots of whites in the NBA or NFL, oh we need a commission, better find out why. That won’t happen of course because when things go against whites it’s fine. Such baloney, all this identity politics crap.

      2. The answer is in the first line of the article @balue “students from under-represented backgrounds”
        That is a group that is a lot wider than “skin colour” – the Formula 1 Press release explicitly adds “including ethnic minorities, women, and those from under-privileged backgrounds“. I am sure Formula 1 will have a comprehensive description of exactly who qualifies to apply when they open up that process.

        1. The most under represented group by numbers is women.
          Hopefully this initiative, and Formula , will help to redress the balance.

          1. Gay and transgender?

            1. I’d expect them to be counted (along with anyone else identifying as LGBT+), though I don’t see them specified in F1’s definition.

        2. @bascb Ok found the F1 press release. Since it was not linked here I thought it was not public yet.

          Since it followed the Hamilton commission report I thought it would be skewed to favoring a certain groups over others, but good F1 has not gone down that path.

          1. @balue

            We still have to see how they actually select people. A lot of these activists equate ‘under-privileged’ with skin color or gender & will stereotype any white person as privileged, even if they are from a very poor background.

    3. Aren’t people from outside the UK and Italy greatly underrepresented?

      Stefano Domenicali, who took over from Carey as CEO earlier this year, said the sport wants “to be as diverse as our fan base”.

      The fan base is not just in the UK and Italy…

      1. Uh huh, but where are all* the F1 teams based ?

        1. @falken Apart from Alfa Romeo, in fairness.

      2. @aapje Just because the factories are in England it doesn’t mean that only English people work there. I’ve worked closely with Indian, Italian, Venezuelan, Spanish, Irish, and French engineers amongst others.

        Reply moderated
    4. Great, affirmative action finally reaches F1. The idea that OxBridge grads are underrepresented in F1 is laughable.

      1. You may want to try reading the article. They are being ‘placed’ at universities like Oxford because these are the best places to learn the required skills I imagine. Not because they are people who are already studying there.

        It’s not a difficult concept to grasp. Thousands of students from disadvantaged backgrounds obtain scholarships to all sorts of universities every year. Including Oxford and Cambridge.

    5. Well, at least the people who this comment was directed at will read it, a result in itself

    6. I wonder how many people within F1 are within a transgender minority. To be fair, I would be completely ecstatic, in within the entire field there was just 1 employee. Some countries really are not safe at all for transgender women.

      1. You mean men larping as women? What next, asking how many people that identify as raccoons but only on Thursday are involved? This is getting silly, are you all not seeing this?

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