Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have come together and created new charities to address diversity, both in society and motorsport. The seven-time F1 World Champ has also put £20million of his own money into the projects to help fund it himself. 

Mission 44 has been launched by Hamilton himself to help young people from underrepresented groups. Mercedes and Lewis have also launched an initiative called Ignite, bringing more diverse talent into UK motorsport.

Mission 44 will support, champion and empower young people from underrepresented groups in the UK to succeed in careers where there are traditionally very low levels of diversity. They want to do away with the barriers that are out of people’s control, such as race or disadvantaged backgrounds.

They will work with other organisations to narrow the gap in employment and education systems in the UK and, in doing so, make more opportunities available.

Mission 44 will use the research done by The Hamilton Commission, an organisation set up by Lewis last year, to study the reasons for the lack of involvement of black people in UK motorsport, to support young black people and other underrepresented groups.

Lewis’s personal pledge of £20million will be followed by more contributions from his partners and sponsors.

Ignite, created by Hamilton and Mercedes, will focus on increasing diverse talent to enter the motorsport industry in the UK and inspire enthusiasm for motorsport through STEM education (science, technology, engineering and maths).

Ignite will work closely with Mission 44 to deliver actual results for the UK motorsport industry and the Mercedes F1 team themselves.

“I am so thrilled that, through Ignite, we are able to formally work together to achieve this”, Lewis said. “Diverse workforces are not only more successful but are also the morally correct approach for any industry. The findings of The Hamilton Commission have provided us with a fantastic base to begin our work, and I am confident that Ignite will result in real, tangible change within motorsport.

“For 15 years, I have remained one of the few Black employees within F1, and I am proud that my work with Mercedes is going to change that for the better.”

There is more information about Mission 44 on their website and about Ignite on the Mercedes F1 website.

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