Formula 1: Lewis Hamilton to donate massive sum to new Mission 44 foundation

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Sir Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes Formula 1 team have announced the launch of their joint charity ‘Ignite’ to help increase diversity within motorsport.

The seven-time world champion has pledged that he will donate £20 million into his new foundation Mission 44 to act on the Hamilton Commission report.

The report titled ‘Accelerating Change: Improving Representation of Black People in UK Motorsport’ was published following ten months of research that explored barriers to the recruitment and progression of Black people within UK motorsport, which start in early life and throughout their educational journeys. Particularly looking into: science, technology, engineering and maths.

The Ignite charity itself will aim to work on a number of projects, and it will include efforts to push black students towards STEM subjects, plus offer financial support to talented and motivated students wishing to pursue careers in motorsport but who do not have the current means.

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Speaking about the charity, Hamilton said:

“Mercedes have long supported my ambition to improve diversity and inclusion within the motorsport industry.

"Diverse workforces are not only more successful but are also the morally correct approach for any industry.

“The findings of The Hamilton Commission have provided us a fantastic base to begin our work, and I am confident that Ignite will result in real, tangible change within motorsport.

"For 15 years, I have remained one of the few black employees within Formula 1, and I am proud that my work with Mercedes is going to change that for the better.”

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Indeed, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff added:

“We are delighted and proud to be standing alongside Lewis. Lewis has long spoken about the challenges he has faced in motorsport.

“At Mercedes, we have listened and worked closely with Lewis over the last year to understand how we can help open up our sport to achieve diverse and inclusive workforce within our own team.

“Ignite will complement our team's own Accelerate 25 programme, and through these platforms we hope to see much more talent from under-represented groups both join our team and take up careers in the wider motorsport industry."

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