Lewis Hamilton shows off his 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 car
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The announcement of F1’s latest partnership will be music to the ears of Lewis Hamilton, as the sport joined forces with Tottenham Hotspur.
The Premier League club has teamed up with F1 to install a karting track under the South Stand of their stadium, as part of a “15-year strategic partnership”. The North London club revealed one of the aims for the initiative is to “create apprenticeship and career opportunities for local young people and bring greater diversity to the motorsport industry.”
Other than racking up the wins on track and beating the competition, Hamilton’s greatest desire is to use his platform to create more opportunities for black people in F1 and motorsport as a whole. In 2020, in partnership with Britain’s Royal Academy of Engineering, Hamilton established the Hamilton Commission: a project to identify barriers to the recruitment and progress of black people in motorsport.
In the summer of 2021, the Brit’s commission released a report titled Accelerating Change, which recommended ways to make motor racing more diverse and inclusive. It stressed the need to improve the representation of ethnic and other minorities in F1.
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This included calling on motorsport organisations to implement a diversity and inclusion charter and to expand apprenticeship and work experience schemes. It proposed the inclusion of scholarship programmes to assist black engineering graduates with obtaining roles in motorsport.
“The benefits of a diverse workplace are well documented and sport is no exception,” Hamilton pointed out. “In fact, it’s even more important, because sport has the power to promote and lead change.
“Through this research, we not only identified the barriers that young black people face in entering the sport, but also within the wider Stem [science, technology engineering, and mathematics] education journey. I am hopeful F1 can be a leading example on how working together, committing to action and not just words, leads to positive change.”
F1 president Stefano Domenicali weighed in on the announcement and stated the new partnership would help to provide motorsport with a pathway to connecting with new and more diverse audiences. As well as creating apprenticeship and career opportunities for local young people, a new driver academy programme to help identify the sport’s future drivers will also be included.
“As we continue to grow our sport around the world, partnering with world renowned brands like Tottenham Hotspur allows us to take Formula 1 and motorsport to new and diverse audiences,” Domenicali said. “The karting experience will be a destination and place that families, friends and aspiring drivers from all over the world will want to visit and enjoy, engaging new audiences and offering an accessible entry point to the world of motorsport.
“Our brands have a shared vision to create life-changing career opportunities, promote diversity and inclusion, and driving environmental sustainability – our innovative partnership will bring all of this to life.”
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