Following the launch of the #WeRaceAsOne initiative last year, Formula 1 decided to further their commitment to the issues regarding diversity and inclusion in the sport, and introduced primarily, yet not exclusively, engineering focused scholarships for underrepresented groups, as well as internships and apprenticeships in order to boost the chances of minorities to enter and work in the sport.
The scholarships will be provided for 10 students from “underrepresented groups, including ethnic minorities, women, and those from under-privileged backgrounds”. Each scholarship will cover both the tuition fees and living stipend, and it will be provided for students taking undergraduate courses in the UK and masters in Italy as of September 2021.
It is said that all 10 F1 teams will provide work experience opportunities for the scholar during their education. There are a few different universities committed to the cause, and all of them will run an “independent selection process to determine the scholarship recipients”. These universities are: The Motorvehicle University of Emilia-Romagna (Italy, 3 students); University of Oxford (UK, 2 students); Strathclyde University (UK, 2 students); University of Cambridge (UK, 1 student); Coventry University (UK, 1 student) and Manchester Metropolitan University (UK, 1 student).
The apprentice programme will place two long-term apprentices from underrepresented groups in F1 in 2021. Those apprenticeships will begin in September 2021 and will focus on mechanical engineering.
The internship programme will place six interns with a mix of short and long-term placements, and the interns will be offered roles across F1 in 2021. Two out of this placements have been already assigned within the Motorsport and Marketing teams, with the other four being recruited in the next few weeks via multiple D&I partners including BCOMS, Driven by Diversity and more.
A statement from F1 said: "We believe that as a truly international sport we can make a difference by using our voice and determination to address these vital issues. Formula 1 is a sport that represents millions of global fans and we want to take steps to ensure we are as diverse and inclusive in our own community as the communities we serve around the world.”
Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of Formula 1 said in the statement: “Formula 1 is a global sport with fans across the world. We want to be as diverse as our fan base and that is why we are taking direct action to ensure talented people from underrepresented groups have the best opportunities to get into, and build, a fantastic career in this amazing sport. I am delighted to announce that scholars, apprentices and interns will get the chance to fulfil their dreams in
Formula 1 and I know they have amazing futures ahead of them. I want to pay particular thanks to Chase whose generous donation is funding the 10 scholarships.Our #WeRaceAsOne platform is our commitment to make real change and shows our recognition that we know we must make a positive contribution to the world we live in. All of the teams are committed to this and the work of the Hamilton Commission shows the dedication to addressing these issues across Formula 1.
Our focus is on Diversity & Inclusion, Sustainability and Community and we will continue to drive forward with our plans to be more diverse, more sustainable and leave a lasting positive impact on the countries and communities we visit. We know we must continue to move forward on these issues and the whole sport is united in doing this in the months and years ahead.”
- 10 full engineering scholarships at 6 universities— Formula 1 (@F1) July 14, 2021
- Apprentice programme at F1
- Internship programme at F1
Today, F1 announces its latest plans to create employment and education opportunities for underrepresented groupshttps://t.co/gaWcZ9cK9y
Before this initiative has been announced, a report made by the Hamilton Commission, which has been set up by the seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton was published, detailing the state of the sport as it is now and how F1 can further commit to increasing representation and opportunities for underrepresented groups, especially black students. The report showcased that only 1% of employees in F1 come from black backgrounds. The entire report is available for read at hamiltoncommission.org.
From the thousands of jobs in Formula 1, only 1% of employees are from Black backgrounds. The Hamilton Commission aims to change that. pic.twitter.com/m0sWvvQwRq— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) July 13, 2021
Introduction of such initiatives is definitely a good step into the future, and let’s hope there are many more to come, with proper commitment to them, as in the past after the launch of #WeRaceAsOne there has been a lot of criticism towards F1 for throwing slogans and promises into the air but not properly acting on actually increasing and embracing diversity and inclusion in Formula 1. Let’s see over the next few months how these ideas will develop, and how will they be executed.