“It’s generally been quite a lonely journey – me and my family have been the only Black family,” says Lewis Hamilton as he discusses establishing the Hamilton Foundation and aiming to boost diversity in F1; Briton looking forward to “huge” Miami Grand Prix this weekend
Last Updated: 03/05/22 9:29am
Seven-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton hopes The Hamilton Commission can boost diversity in the sport and help others avoid the “lonely journey” he has been on.
Hamilton, the only Black driver to have raced in F1, has established the organisation in order to help increase representation on the grid, in the garages and in the factories.
The Briton has also set up Mission44 with its goal to “support, champion and empower young people from underrepresented groups in the UK to succeed”.
Speaking to American broadcaster ABC ahead of Sunday’s inaugural Miami Grand Prix, Hamilton said: “It’s generally been quite a lonely journey – me and my family have been the only black family.
“I have been racing for 29 years, professional for 16, and most often been the only person of colour in the room. When I would ask the question, there was no real greet feedback.
“So, I put together the Hamilton Commission. It starts with education and understanding. We have put together this body of research to try and understand what those barriers are.
“Not only in our industry where we have over 40,000 jobs but only one per cent come from black backgrounds, there are real systemic issues within the educational system.
“The Hamilton Commission has started Mission44 which I’ve funded myself to try and create more representation, support and empowerment for these young, under-served groups.”
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Hamilton: Miami Grand Prix ‘huge’ for F1
Hamilton trails championship leader, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, by 62 points after four rounds of the 2022 campaign with the Mercedes driver finishing 13th at the Emilia Romagna GP last time out.
The 37-year-old says the maiden race in Miami is “huge” for Formula 1 and expects interest in the States to swell with Las Vegas being added to the calendar in 2023.
Hamilton added: “We have Austin in Texas which has always been amazing, while the first race I had out there was Indianapolis in 2007.
“[Miami] is going to be a huge event for us. Now we have two grands prix in the States and another in Vegas next year – it’s going to be huge.
“I have been coming out here for a long, long time and never quite understood why people weren’t into Formula 1. There are such huge sporting fans out here.”