With the introduction of a male/female driver lineup for each team, the Extreme E Series has already done much to encourage diversity in racing, but influenced by the eponymous Hamilton Commission findings, they are taking steps to add further variety to the series in an initiative named Racing for All.
“We know from the findings of The Hamilton Commission that our industry is a tough place to break into, particularly for those from underrepresented backgrounds, which is why it’s so important that the Racing for All program will be creating genuine opportunities for the next generation,” said Lewis Hamilton, seven-time Formula 1 champion and a car owner in Extreme E in a release. “When I first discussed the idea of creating a program with Alejandro [Agag] and the Extreme E team, we all agreed that it had to be something which led to real change, and I believe Racing for All does just that.
“I’m so excited to see this program adopted across the paddock, and I can’t wait to see what the first group of Racing for All candidates goes on to achieve.”
In an effort to lessen the footprint of each event, Extreme E teams are currently limited to five mechanics or engineers at each event. Through the Racing for All initiative, an additional crewmember will be added for members with less than one year’s experience to allow them to gain hands on experience.
One of the goals for the initiative is to reduce barriers for applicants that would not otherwise have this opportunity, particularly females, ethnic minorities and those from a lower socio-economic background. Hamilton comes from a middle-class background and has often expressed gratitude at the sacrifices made by his father.
“We are delighted to launch the Racing for All initiative,” said Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E. “We are fully supportive of the findings of The Hamilton Commission and are working with our teams to provide a clear path for the brilliant engineers and mechanics of the future, who may not so readily have the opportunities to succeed. Our goal is for Racing for All to instill an inclusive mindset and a wider recruitment pipeline which enables the next generation of race mechanics and engineers to reach the highest levels of motorsport, regardless of factors such as race, gender or social economic status, and reduce the barriers which exist for certain communities.”
The Hamilton Report, titled “Accelerating Change: Improving Representation of Black People in UK Motorsport”, provided 10 recommendations aimed specifically to improve the representation of blacks in UK motorsport, but will be expanded to address Extreme E’s initiative. The three key components are support/empowerment, accountability/measurement and Inspiration/engagement.
“Extreme E’s commitment to environmental and social matters was the main draw for us to join the series and I am excited to see another progressive initiative come to fruition, aiming at removing barriers to motorsport,” said Nico Rosberg, Owner of Rosberg X Racing. “It is a sport that lives from different experiences, backgrounds, views and skills, so we all benefit from welcoming more diverse talent into our team.”
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