Having been worked on for several months, and coming off the back of the Hamilton Commission Report, the ‘Ignite’ initiative will work towards helping ensure there is a much broader pool of talent making it into the motorsport industry.
Funding for the charity will come jointly from both Hamilton and Mercedes, and it will work closely with the world champion’s personal foundation, Mission 44.
Speaking about the charity, Hamilton said: “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 formally 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 1, and I am proud that my work with Mercedes is going to change that for the better.”
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12
Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff added: “I am delighted today that we can finally talk about our plans for the Ignite initiative.
“Since we announced our intention with Lewis at the start of the year to create a joint project, a great deal of work and discussion has taken place in the background to refine our aims and our mission.
“Opening up motorsport and becoming a more diverse and inclusive team are fundamental to our team’s values and, with the full support of Mercedes-Benz, we are committed to making a positive impact on society and building a platform from which future generations can access and enjoy our fantastic sport.
“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.”
Ignite will 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.