Last July, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes launched the Ignite Partnership in coordination with his Mission 44 charitable foundation. And recently, Ignite announced its first set of diversity grants, aimed at increasing diversity and inclusion within motorsport.
The first recipients of the diversity grant, are Motorsport UK and the Royal Academy of Engineering. They will receive about £500,000 from an initial seed funding of £5 million. The Motorsport UK program focuses on increasing the involvement of females in grass root sports through the Girls on Track initiative, introduced by the FIA in 2016. The funding will allow programming to concentrate on reaching more communities and achieve increased representation from low-income and minority ethnic groups.
Meanwhile, The Royal Academy of Engineering program aims to provide Master-level motorsport engineering scholarships for Black students. The program will also support a minimum of ten deserving MSc course candidates across the next couple of seasons. In addition, the program will pick five final-year undergraduates each season.
Hamilton Leads Ignite From The Front to Create Diversity In Motorsport
Lewis shared how these programs would be a huge boost for low-income and ethnic minority groups who really need the support. The Briton revealed that the first grants were just the start of a long-term program and how proud he was that the initiative had finally kicked off successfully. Lewis shared that a lot of work has been done in the background since the launch of Ignite. Hamilton was thrilled that he and Mercedes continue to show their commitment to the goal of creating a more diverse motorsport industry.
The Mercedes driver further stated that the grant would focus on supporting individuals from two crucial and under-represented demographics. The grants would help them move towards their goal of increasing the involvement of women and Black talent in motorsport. Lewis mentioned this week’s events showed the contributors a growing need for a better representation in the industry. Hamilton concluded, “More than ever we must focus on how we can use action to change motorsport for the better. And this is an exciting next step.”
Meanwhile, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said that the two grants signify a wide array of opportunities. It will ultimately contribute to Ignite’s overall goal. The former Austrian driver pointed out that the inspiration motorsport events. The learning experiences would make thousands of girls and women in the UK recognize the ‘power of possibility.’
Wolff also told that the grants would provide academic support to the brightest and best black engineering students. He added, “We intend for each initiative to make a tangible contribution to building a more diverse and inclusive motorsport industry.”