Former McLaren team boss included on Hamilton Commission
Former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has been named as one of the 14-strong members of the Lewis Hamilton Commission
Six-time Formula 1 champion Hamilton announced earlier this year the formation of a research project bearing his name designed to identify what has been described as 'the key barriers to recruitment and progression of Black people in UK motorsport, and provide actionable recommendations to overcome them'.
The Commission, publicly announced in June but only officially launched on September 1 in conjunction with the Royal Academy of Engineering, will run for a period of nine months through to the end of May next year.
Co-chaired by Hamilton and Dr Hayaatun Sillem, chief executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the board of commissioners comprises industry leaders from areas of influence that includes motorsport, engineering, schools, colleges and universities, community/youth groups, as well as major UK political parties.
During his 24 years with McLaren, Whitmarsh served as CEO and team principal before being ousted from his roles in an internal coup by Ron Dennis.
The 62-year-old is now currently a member of Formula E's global advisory board, chair of the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership and chairman of BAR Technologies.
Highlighting the reason behind the Commission, with Mercedes revealing earlier this year that only three per cent of its workforce is from ethnic minorities, Hamilton said: “Since I began my professional racing career in Formula One, 14 years ago, I was the first driver of colour and to this day, sadly that is still the case.
"However, what is more concerning is that there are still very few people of colour across the sport as a whole.
"In F1, our teams are much bigger than the athletes that front them, but representation is insufficient across every skillset – from the garage to the engineers in the factories and design departments.
"Change isn’t coming quickly enough, and we need to know why. This is why I wanted to set up the Commission and I’m proud to be working with the Royal Academy of Engineering and our incredible board of commissioners to identify the barriers facing young Black people to take up STEM careers in motorsport.
"We are dedicated to this cause and together, we will make a change.”
Alongside Whitmarsh, the other board members include:
Karen Chouhan, lead equality officer with a specialism in race policy for the National Education Union
Jeremy Crook, chief executive of the Black Training and Enterprise Group
Tracey Crouch MP, former Sports Minister and British Conservative party politician
Dr Nike Folayan, co-founder and chair of the Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers
Professor Alice Gast, president of Imperial College London
Mark Hamlin, chair of Project 44
Dr Zubaida Haque, former Interim Director of the Runnymede Trust
Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon, co-founder of Stemettes and trustee at the Institute for the Future of Work
George Imafidon, co-founder of Motivez, One Young World ambassador and Royal Academy of Engineering scholar
Glen Lambert, head of school of construction, science and engineering at College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London
Professor David Mba, pro-vice chancellor research and enterprise, and dean of the faculty of computing, engineering and media at De Montfort University
Izzy Obeng, managing director at Foundervine and non-executive director for Capital Enterprise
Chi Onwurah MP, British Member of Parliament representing Newcastle upon Tyne Central and also Shadow Minister Digital, Science & Technology
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