Talking about his “lonely journey” through Formula 1, he admitted that while he’s been in the sport since 2007, he’s often the only person of colour either on the track or in the pits.
“It’s been generally quite a lonely journey,” he admits. “It’s just been my and my family, we’re the only Black family [in F1].
I’ve been racing 29 years, I’m 37 now. I’ve been a professional for 16 years, but most often I’m the only person of colour in the room.”
Seeing this, he was pushed to create a charity called the Hamilton Commission, which is looking to combat this limited diversity within UK motorsport. Misson44 is another one of his projects which seeks to “support, champion and empower young people from underrepresented groups in the UK to succeed.”
Lewis Hamilton describes his experience in Formula One as a "lonely journey" and explains how he's trying to increase diversity within the sport 👊pic.twitter.com/rsHxghLeYs
— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) May 3, 2022
He doesn’t shy away from trying to change something, and this only solidified his place in the sport further.
“It starts with education and understanding,” Hamilton explained. “We have put together this body of research to try and understand what those barriers are. We found that not only in our industry, where we have over 40,000 jobs but only 1% come from Black backgrounds, but that there are real systemic issues within the educational system as well.
“The Hamilton Commission has now started Mission44 which I’ve funded myself to try and create more representation, support and empowerment for these young, under-served groups.”
Hamilton is currently sat 7th in the Driver Standings as his Mercedes suffers from issues stemming from porpoising. This has resulted in poor performance from the car with it being low on grip, but as the team tries to extract more grip from the W13, they’ve increased drag at the same time. Teammate George Russell looks to be getting the hang of its characteristics, sitting fourth in the standings, and now team engineer Andrew Shovlin is feeling more optimistic about the upcoming race at Miami this weekend:
“Being realistic we think this will be something we approach in steps rather than one big moment where the whole thing vanishes. But we are seeing encouraging signs … we are hoping to bring parts to the car soon, maybe even Miami where we can hopefully see progress on this issue.”
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc currently sits ahead of Hamilton by 58 points, leading the current championship.