Lewis Hamilton pledges to 'make a change' in motorsport representation through Hamilton Commission
Former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh and Tracey Crouch, the former Sports Minister, form part of the 14-strong commission launched by Hamilton - F1's sole black driver - in June
Last Updated: 24/09/20 7:23pm
Lewis Hamilton has pledged to uncover the causes behind a lack of diversity in motorsport and "make a change" as he named the members of the Hamilton Commission.
The six-time Formula One world champion said he wanted "real, tangible and measurable change" when he launched the research initiative in June.
Hamilton, who could match Michael Schumacher's record of 91 victories at this weekend's Russian Grand Prix, is F1's sole black driver.
Former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh and Tracey Crouch, the former Sports Minister, form part of the 14-strong commission, which will be led by Hamilton and Dr Hayaatun Sillem, the chief executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering.
"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," said Hamilton.
"Representation is insufficient across every skill set - from the garage to the engineers in the factories and design departments"
"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 skill set - 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 (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers in motorsport. We are dedicated to this cause and together, we will make a change."
Hamilton's Mercedes team are running an all-black livery, instead of their trademark silver, in the 2020 season in a stand against racism and for diversity.
The world champions have also pledged to improve diversity within their own workforce and admitted in June that "just three per cent of their workforce identify as belonging to minority ethnic groups, while only 12 per cent are women".
Hamilton has been the leading figure in the sport's anti-racism messaging this year, which includes demonstrations before every grand prix.
Formula 1 has established a new foundation to fund internships and apprenticeships for people from underrepresented groups, with the sport's CEO Chase Carey making a personal $1million donation to it, and pledged to work with the Hamilton Commission.
Hamilton named on TIME100 list
A leading and powerful voice calling for racial equality, Hamilton was this week named as one of TIME magazine's 100 most influential people in the world in 2020.
The F1 champion, who was listed in the 'Titans' category, was one of several sportspeople to make the list, including three-time Grand Slam-winning tennis player Naomi Osaka and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
The tribute to Hamilton was paid by NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace.
"I'm the only Black driver in NASCAR's top level," wrote Wallace. "So Lewis' example as the lone Black F1 driver is particularly meaningful for me. He shows we're out there doing it. To see him conquering the track damn near every weekend, it motivates me to try to do the same.
"His activism has also moved the world. Lewis has brought international attention to the Black Lives Matter movement, through his advocacy on social media and at F1 events.
"Lewis' mental preparation, his aura, his ability to capitalize on every opportunity to use his platform to drive out racism are more than just a model for race-car drivers and other athletes. He's an inspiration for everyone."
Hamilton, meanwhile, congratulated the African-American driver and NBA legend Michael Jordan after the latter announced he was launching a NASCAR team for 2021, for which Wallace will drive.
Watch the Russian Grand Prix this week live on Sky Sports F1, starting with Practice One from 9am on Friday.