Lewis Hamilton is proud of the efforts Mercedes are making to increase the diversity of its staff but says it will be a “long slog” to achieve the results he hopes to see.
“It’s been a long process that started really here in 2019,” he explained ahead of last week’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. “We just did a team photo and I’m still looking and I’m like, damn, we still have so much work to do. There’s three people of colour, for example. But there are a lot more women.
“But still that needs to shift. There will be a[nother] team photo one of the days this week and if I contrast that to 2019, I’m pretty sure that it’s not moved anywhere near as much as it should have. So the challenge is to see how we shift that.”
Hamilton set up The Hamilton Commission in 2020 to investigate why some groups are under-represented in motorsport, and how to address it. He and Mercedes subsequently launched the Ignite charity to promote science, technology, education and mathematics to young people within those groups.
He said he is starting to see the first fruits of those efforts. “The work that I’m doing is really targeting kids and creating a future pipeline and it starts from grassroots,” he said. “It’s been really great to see finally the team coming together and starting to see that we’re starting to have a real impact. And it makes me really proud.
“When we were in Austin we had the kids come, all the young women come, when we were in the UK we had a real diverse group of kids come. It was really cool to be able to be in the position to be able to open up the door for these kids to see what is possible and spark interest and create dreams that they perhaps never thought it was possible.
“So I’m excited for the future. It’s just a long slog.”
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