Lewis Hamilton explains ‘real target’ for F1 ahead of BBC Sports Personality of the Year
Lewis Hamilton has explained making Formula One a more diverse place is his ‘real target’ within the sport. The Brit has been vocal in his need for change over the years and feels F1 still has plenty of work to do. He’s expected to be crowned the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year for a second time when the ceremony takes place on Sunday night.
On the track, Hamilton has been sensational in recent years.
He’s won the F1 Drivers’ Championship for the last four years on the spin, drawing level with the great Michael Schumacher on seven titles in the process.
But Hamilton, speaking to Motorsport.com, has now outlined his desire to spark more change within the sport.
In June 2020, he announced a partnership with the Roy Academy of Engineering to launch The Hamilton Commission – with the aim of improving the representation of black people in UK motorsport.
And he’s now opened up on that, saying: “The real main target is why I’m doing the Hamilton Commission.
“It’s to try to leave this place with changes that will hopefully make it a more diverse sport in the future. So, if I come in five-10 years’ time, and I walk in, I won’t be the only person of colour that’s in this sport.
“Hopefully it will be more diverse. Hopefully these teams will be more diverse and continue to progress.
“It’s [about] having a sport that is reflective of society and the outside world. Yes, our world is multicultural – lots of different colours and people from different religions – and we don’t see a lot of women here too.
“I hope in years to come you see [that] women have high-up roles, you see people of colour that can also be in high-up roles – [it goes] from mechanics to catering because you don’t see that, even to marshalling.
“There’s a lot of work that needs to be done.
“It goes back to accountability at the forefront of it. And even in [Autosport’s] world – I think of my whole F1 career I’ve seen one black guy that’s been [working as a journalist].
“OK, we’ve got a couple of reporters that are behind the camera, but you know I just hope that in 10 years’ time [it’s different]. That’s my mission, that’s my purpose here. Winning is all good, but it’s kind of the least important.”
When Hamilton announced the Hamilton Commission, he said: “Despite my success in the sport, the institutional barriers that have kept F1 highly exclusive persist.
“It is not enough to point to me, or to a single new black hire, as a meaningful example of progress.
“Thousands of people are employed across this industry and that group needs to be more representative of society.”
Meanwhile, Hamilton’s long-term future at Mercedes is currently up in the air.
And the Brit has revealed he’s yet to initiate talks over a new contract, despite Toto Wolff wanting him to remain with the Silver Arrows for 2021.
“We haven’t started a conversation,” Hamilton said.
“Toto and I plan to do that over the coming days.”
He then added: “If you refer to why haven’t we got a signed contract, the reason is simple – we always prioritised about getting this Championship done and not being distracted by sometimes difficult discussions.
“On the super, super plus side, I’m really proud and grateful to see Toto’s signing.
“He’s such an important leading figure within this team, and the success that we have achieved would not have been possible without him.
“He is such a great figurehead, and I think that the team is just better for it, to have that longevity, and it’s great to see that commitment from Mercedes.
“But the added bonus of having INEOS who came in this year and have been a part of our success this year, it’s great to see they’re going to be a part of this team and help with the stability of this team moving forward in growing to be better.
“It’s going to take a big push for us to continue to raise the bar in this organisation, because I think we’ve done such a great job over these past years.
“But I think the right people are in the right place, and it looks good. The future looks bright for this team I think.”