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Hamilton and Mercedes partnership Ignite announces first inclusivity grants

Hamilton and Mercedes partnership Ignite announces first inclusivity grants

F1 News

Hamilton and Mercedes partnership Ignite announces first inclusivity grants

Hamilton and Mercedes partnership Ignite announces first inclusivity grants

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes' joint initiative Ignite has announced its inaugural charitable grants aimed at increasing diversity and inclusion within motorsport.

The partnership between driver and team was launched last July and has its coordination led by Hamilton's Mission 44 charitable foundation.

Motorsport UK and the Royal Academy of Engineering will be the inaugural benefactors of the grants, with over half a million pounds being given to support programmes focused on increasing female participation in grassroots motorsport.

Masters-level motorsport engineering scholarships for black students are also targeted by the grants.

Hamilton said: "I'm very proud to see Ignite announcing our first two grants today. There has been a lot of work behind the scenes since launching and I'm delighted that Mercedes and I can continue to demonstrate our commitment towards creating a more diverse industry in this way.

"We chose these grants because they focus on supporting individuals from two crucial and underrepresented demographics, moving us towards our goal of increasing the number of women and Black talent in the sport.

"The events of this week have shown us why there continues to be an urgent need to push for better representation in our industry. 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."

Ignite to collaborate with FIA Girls on Track UK

The first grant will see Ignite collaborate with Motorsport Uk and the FIA Girls on Track UK programme, which will expand its reach to 8,000 girls and young women in the 8-24-year-old age group.

Motorsport UK chief executive officer Hugh Chambers said: "Motorsport UK is committed to using our reach and influence effectively, ensuring we are making a positive contribution to society.

"It's important that we're not only engaging in the conversation around equality, diversity and inclusion, but using our platform to make a difference through meaningful action with like-minded organisations and partners. "We've made great strides through our Girls on Track UK programme, introducing thousands of girls and young women to the opportunities that are available to them in motorsport. "We are delighted that Sir Lewis and Mercedes, through their Ignite partnership, have recognised the work and impact of Girls on Track UK.

"We're excited to be working with Ignite and look forward to extending our outreach, welcoming new members into our community and showcasing that motorsport is a safe, fun and fair environment for all."

Ignite to assist funding of Masters scholarships for underrepresented students

The Royal Academy of Engineering is to establish a motorsport scholarship programme for at least 10 black students through the 2023-24 and 2024-25 academic years.

The Academy is to select at least five qualifying final-year undergraduates, finding each in a specialist MSc in engineering or an associated subject with relevance to the industry.

Chief executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering Dr Hayaatun Sillem said: "We are delighted to be partnering with the Ignite team on this important endeavour.

"The Hamilton Commission report highlighted the lack of transition of Black students from engineering degrees into Formula 1. The Royal Academy of Engineering has a successful track record of improving the career prospects of students from Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, through our award-winning Graduate Employer Engagement Programme.

"The new motorsport scholarship programme will provide students with additional specialist motorsport knowledge and skills and give them the confidence and ability to apply for and thrive in this exciting field of engineering."

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