SIR LEWIS HAMILTON will donate £20MILLION to help under-represented young people in Britain.
The seven-time Formula One champion launched his own commission to identify the causes of the lack of people from diverse backgrounds in motorsport.
Earlier this month he published their report – The Hamilton Commission, run in association with the Royal Academy of Engineering – which identified shortcomings in education, particularly in science, technology, engineering and maths.
Now Hamilton has pledged to pump his money into a new foundation, Mission 44, to act on the report’s findings.
He said: “Supporting the ambitions of under-represented young people has always been important to me and Mission 44 represents my commitment to create real change within this community.
“In my early life, I experienced first-hand how coming from an under- represented background can affect your future but, luckily for me, I was able to overcome those odds through opportunity and support.
“I want to ensure that other young people from similar backgrounds are able to do the same.
“The findings of The Hamilton Commission and its recommendations have provided us with a fantastic basis to begin our work.
“Change within the industry is long overdue but we are now firmly on the journey towards transforming it for the better.”
Hamilton, 36, has also formed Ignite, a joint charitable partnership with his racing team Mercedes.
The multi-million-dollar fund will continue his work.
FIGHT FOR CHANGE
Hamilton remains the only black driver in F 1. And he added: “Mercedes have long supported my ambition to improve diversity and inclusion within the motorsport industry.
“I am so thrilled that, through Ignite, we are able to work together to achieve this.
“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 One and I am proud that my work with Mercedes is going to change that for the better.”
Hamilton, who has signed a new two-year deal with Mercedes, has the full backing of team boss Toto Wolff.
Wolff said: “We are delighted and proud to be standing alongside Lewis.
“Lewis has long spoken about the challenges he has faced in motorsport.
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“His determination to turn his experience into such powerful and decisive action is a measure of both his character and unwavering commitment to support people to fulfil their potential.
“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 a more diverse and inclusive workforce within our own team.
“The opportunity is both exciting and challenging.”