Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2020

Hamilton challenges Ferrari and other teams to “hold themselves accountable” over diversity

2020 Styrian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton has called on Ferrari and other Formula 1 teams to “hold themselves accountable” to improve diversity within their organisations.

The world champion has previously announced the creation of The Hamilton Commission to promote diversity within motor sport. Following widespread anti-racism protests resulting from the killing of George Floyd in May, Formula 1 launched its pro-diversity ‘#WeRaceAsOne’ initiative.

Hamilton’s Mercedes team has also announced a new programme to make its workforce more diverse and repainted its F1 cars in an all-black livery carrying the message ‘end racism’.

Formula 1 drivers participated in another show of support for anti-racism ahead of today’s Styrian Grand Prix, many of which ‘took a knee’. Speaking after his victory in the race, Hamilton explained how he has been working to promote diversity within the sport and why he believes there is more progress to be made.

“I think ultimately Formula 1, yes they’ve taken a step forward, but there’s absolutely more they can do,” he said.

Mercedes personnel, Red Bull Ring, 2020
Team members joined drivers in ‘taking a knee’
“I asked, on a call we had on Zoom, I asked: Look, at the moment Formula 1 has come forward and said that they are supporting ‘end racism’ and it’s amazing to see Mercedes doing the same thing. But no other team has said a single thing.

“Whilst we’ve seen Red Bull’s mechanics take a knee, which I think is great. But publicly as businesses, and as teams, if you look at Ferrari who have thousands of people working with them, I’ve heard no word of Ferrari saying that they hold themselves accountable and this is what they’re going to do for their future.

“We need the teams to do that. And we need Formula 1 and the FIA to be more leading I think in those scenarios say ‘hey guys, all of us together, everyone needs to pull together and fight for this so we can improve’.

“I think a lot of people don’t know what the problem is. Some people deny there is a problem. And that’s ultimately why I put this commission together. Because everyone has their opinion but I really want to get to the bottom of it so when we’re putting money into towards something, we know it’s going to change it the root cause. That’s the goal.”

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104 comments on “Hamilton challenges Ferrari and other teams to “hold themselves accountable” over diversity”

  1. GtisBetter (@)
    12th July 2020, 21:23

    They clearly have been working on more diversity as they created the W-series.

    1. GtisBetter (@)
      12th July 2020, 21:24

      FIA that is

      1. @passingisoverrated W Series wasn’t “created” by the FIA – they sanction it but they didn’t set it up.

        1. GtisBetter (@)
          13th July 2020, 6:17

          Ahh, I see.

    2. Yep, why can’t we have a B-series? Oh wat, that’s RaAaCiIiSsSt, but a W-series isn’t SexXxIsSt because that’s promoting diversity…

      Double, triple standards all round.

      The way to fix the problem is invest in cheap racing from a young age, teach it in schools and have it as an olympic contest with standardised parts, then there will be motivation from national governments to invest in order to compete.

      1. @skipgamer

        Come on, you’re not supposed to suggest solutions that make the sport more accessible for everyone. Please stick with the proven (to fail) empty gestures or demand for overt racism.

        1. So are you saying you support the Hamilton Commission which is putting money into researching these issues and engaging the Royal Academy of Engineers to front it; or you consider that to be an empty gesture,

          1. All of identity politics is empty.
            Coz it keeps focusing on identity, not on talent, education, poverty, healthcare, nutrition, and environment.

            Identity politics is the modern version of bread and games during the largest health and upcoming financial crisis of a generation.

    3. Well I assume he is referring to blacks because Ferrari has Brits in management positions, French and German and soon to be Spanish drivers, and women who accompany drivers for interviews etc.
      There isn’t exactly a large pool of blacks in F1 or in the racing sport itself so he makes little sense which seems to be more and more typical of him.
      Of course a possible solution is to start a program to encourage and support blacks and other minority’s (yes there are other minorities) who are interested in getting into the racing world.
      I think the issue here is Red has never shown interest in Hamilton and he may thinks It’s due to racism. I think it’s more due to his arrogance as was evident in the year he entered F1 and even more so immaturity. Schuey he is not.
      And there isn’t a lot of diversity in the Merc garage so perhaps he should include them.

  2. Has F1 ever been more diverse as it is now?

    1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      12th July 2020, 23:13

      It’s never employed as many people as it does now but that will be changing with the introduction of the budget cap. It does seem a little distasteful criticising teams for a lack of diversity across their workforce when there are going to be hundreds of redundancies across F1 in the near future.

  3. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    12th July 2020, 21:42

    >I’ve heard no word of Ferrari saying that they hold themselves accountable

    Ah yes Lewis, because one needs to specifically state something before you think it’s good enough.
    Can’t wait till this guy leaves F1, thinks he’s the emperor of the earth that can guildtrip people into anything.

    1. Is it guilt or bullying via media?

      1. Bullying. Plain, clear and simple. No question.
        What about the machinists, designers, engineers, materials and fabrication specialists …. all positions based entirely on merit, experience and raw talent. Oh yes, and a competitive drive with a willingness to work for less than what you would likely get in other industries.
        My bet is the teams don’t care who you are or the color of your epidermis, can you do a better job than everyone else … Hired.

    2. Agreed he’s become an utter bore.

      Hamilton “Ferrari please fire 10% of your white workforce and hire black people in their place to meet a quota”

      Sounds like racism to me!

      1. Mr KJ Baxter
        13th July 2020, 0:37

        sounds like South Africa!
        Crikey, surely it is best person that gets the job, whether, white, black, yellow, man, woman, transgender, and gets along with the team. Surely the teams want to win, and they therefore hire they think is best for the role.

        Again, bringing politics into a sport that has enough of its internal politics, it does not need anymore. I watch F1 for the dramas on track, the influence of any racing driver, not just Lewis, will not change my views on anything, they and their opinion on things other than F1 is not held in high enough regard to influence me on my views, my food preferences, my haircuts, my clothing, or my preferred alcohol, or anything, and hopefully most other fans are the same.

      2. Especially when 95% of Italian population are Italian. Black are just around 1,5% with most of them likely are not permanent residents.

    3. F1 teams experience a bit of turnover. No need to terminate someone to fill a quota. It might be hard to find diverse candidates, but it takes intent in order to achieve any goal. Stating that intention is the very least thing any of these companies could do.

      I don’t like throwing around ‘racism’; There’s a deeply-rooted animal instinct to be wary/distrustful of the unfamiliar. One of humanities virtues is the ability to recognize and act against our instincts. It’s well known that once a group reaches a particular percentage of representation, the animal instinct considers them ‘normal’.

      Ferrari can do whatever they like, but I think it’s also valid to call them out on it. It’s not like their current policy is giving them any particular advantage….

    4. Some say “GOAT”, others say “weasel”.

    5. He should also criticize NBA and NFL for lack of diversity. But how did it happen that in the country presumably of white dominance NBA and NFL happened to have over 70% black players?

      1. Ash (@captainap)
        13th July 2020, 14:23

        To quickly shutdown this nonsense with the nba and nfl….. all the owners of these teams and franchises are white, the promoters, the sponsors, so you need to speak with the white owners who sign the black players

  4. Maybe Lewis should do some research before speaking.

    Ferrari’s diversity policy: https://corporate.ferrari.com/sites/ferrari15ipo/files/fnv_diversity_policy.pdf – effective since Dec 2017.

    Took me about 10 secs on Google.

    He really is beginning to make himself look a little silly.

    1. It’s nice that Ferrari has a diversity policy for their Board of Directors. I didn’t find one for the rest of the company.

      A) They’ve done well appointing women to their board, so that’s nice.

      B) The nationalities of their board members should be consistent with their markets/customers, if I read between the lines. It’ll give you a chuckle.

      LH isn’t wrong.

      1. The nationalities of their board members should be consistent with their markets/customers, if I read between the lines. It’ll give you a chuckle.

        LH isn’t wrong.

        Are you making the mistake of conflating nationality with race?
        The two are not the same.

  5. Jack (@jackisthestig)
    12th July 2020, 21:56

    The other teams have more pressing issues to worry about, mostly survival or in Ferrari’s case getting out of the midfield. The only reason one single team has spoken about this is to keep their amazing talent but pain in the backside driver happy.

  6. Yes Ferrari have a policy but are their workforce really that diverse?

    Great that Hamilton continues to push on this.

    1. I don’t think it is a good idea for any team to hire an engineer just because she or he’s black, but to hire the best engineer available for that position be she or he black white yellow or whatever color. Keep in mind that Italy has not the same percentage of black people you find in other countries like USA or France.

    2. I don’t get the obsession with “diversity” in certain cases, and this is one of them. Some countries are more homogenous than others and Ferrari employs mainly Italians. Is it your business to racially or ethnically profile their employees and decide when they are up to your ideals? Some people need to drop their pseudomoral mask from time to time.

      1. Maybe that’s Ferrari’s problem, because when they were winning with Schumacher, they had Ross Brawn, Jean Todt, and Rory Byrne leading the way.

        1. @medman
          They have Laurent Mekies (sporting director), Jock Clear (track operations) , Inaki Rueda (chief strategist), David Sanchez (Chief Aerodynamics) and two non Italian drivers (Vettel & Leclerc).
          In the Schumacher era Luca Di Montezemolo was responsible for recruiting the people you’ve mentioned and Paolo Martinelli was in charge of the engine department.

      2. Is this Lewis’ way of opening the door to a Ferrari drive…?

        1. Ain’t going to happen. They never wanted him. He needs to face the fact he will never wear red and it bothers him a lot evidently. Mercedes isn’t glamorous enough to fulfill his gigantic ego. Too bad!

  7. Right now I think Ferrari just needs some more speed.

  8. Ok Lewis, you are free to flagelate us with your sanctimonious homilies, nowadays I only listen to what Kimi has to say.

    1. Six championships to one. Listen to what you may, but that speaks volumes in and of itself. Swing and a miss by you.

      1. Does a championship makes him morally superior, more than you, for example? How quick you are to bend your knee at Hamilton’s will.

        1. Said the guy who claims to be interested only in what Kimi has to say, which is precisely nothing as the guy doesn’t speak. Typical for your kind. The irony is risible.

      2. Mr KJ Baxter
        13th July 2020, 0:42

        how in hell is the number of championships someone has make them superior away from the track? or would you go and steal a can of baked beans if Hamilton told you to? Kimi with his one championship says in his icy manner “no, I would not recommend this”, but Lewis telling you it is a good idea because it will help the grey bearded swallow of Romania to increase its numbers during nesting season. Pfft.

      3. Six championships don’t give him or anybody the least bit of authority about what anybody else do with their lives. At least Kimi is amusing oftentimes. The pretensión that I have to choose whom to listen, about matters totally unrelated to driving, based on their number of championships, is unbelievably ridiculous. And I don’t give a f. f. about anything that LH may say or do outside driving his Merc. Last time I checked this was about racing, not the Woke Olympics.

        1. Well said.

        2. Gives him a bigger platform though! I mean you look at the comments on any Hamilton based article on this site. They are always double what you find on any other driver or team. Love him, hate him… doesn’t matter. He’s got you talking and will keep you talking. On a subject like this that’s a big thing.

      4. but that speaks volumes in and of itself

        of driving ability and speed+reliability of the car being driven (in the most general sense). Nothing more. Thank you.

  9. Wow, now he gives himself right to hire personnel for other teams too… Sure, diversity, not meritocracy. Let’s hire people over the colour of their skin, that’s what we want XXI century to look like.

    1. Thats because Hamilton is a sanctimonious racist.

      1. I’ve read people calling many names- but racist is quite absurd. Tell me- what are your views on these racial relations? Is it wrong to call on teams to do more to be more inclusive of other ethnicities or is that what your problem really is?

  10. You first Lewis, how about you step asside and let an Asian driver take your place. For ‘diversities’ sake you understand.

    1. Ummm, Alex Albon is Thai. Fairly sure that counts as Asia?

  11. “Hamilton challenges Ferrari and other teams to “hold themselves accountable” over diversity”

    Maybe teams should give a **** about the skill of the person they hire, not the background. I’d hire folks to reach a goal, not make it harder than it has to be. If the process towards the goal becomes more diverse while it goes along, great, but don’t make it a main goal by itself. Makes me think of ‘positive discrimination’, which in some sense is just as nonsensical as negative discrimination (although negative discrimination has deeper / more harmful effects of course). If it ends up being done by some teams just to ‘save their *ss’ when it comes to external opinions….too bad we live in a world where this is seemingly necessary.

  12. Broccoliface
    12th July 2020, 23:59

    Lmao, is this what he means when he said “I didn’t ask/demand teams/drivers to kneel”? By picking what he sees as the main culprit that dares to defy his nonsense and exerting soft-power via his social capital to try and bully them into submission. gg with your left-wing BLM twaddle hammy, I see your game.

    1. left-wing BLM twaddle?

      You may be mistaking equality for privilege.

  13. That I as for medman

  14. F1 looks pretty diverse to me, there must be people from 100 different countries on the teams, in the factories, in the admin. (This is partly in jest so don’t get your knickers in a knot).

    So long as there is diversity of thought and respect for individual opinion/actions I think that would cover most of the pressing issues in F1.

    1. Mr KJ Baxter
      13th July 2020, 0:48

      and you are right, it is diverse, the fact there is little diversity in colour is of consequence. How many people of colour, any nation, are interested in racing? very few that we see, a proportion of lighter coloured skinned people, so it stands to reason there are less people capable of getting to the pinnacle as well. Lewis knows how well he had to fight to get where he is, so surely it is up to the individual and fight their way into a team, not be gifted it because of their skin colour.
      The same goes for women, they want more women in there, but when the pool of women interested in motorsport is far less than men, its only natural there will be less women.
      I don’t think Lewis has quite done the percentages on this, or put his reality hat on.

  15. NeverElectric
    13th July 2020, 2:00

    It’s a clever move by Lewis and Mercedes, I think. Mercedes will reap massive marketing bonus points from this – they can trumpet their diversity credentials while Ferrari cannot. In Anglo countries – esp the US, Canada, the UK – this diversity initiative is big news and will play to Mercedes’ strength.
    As for the people taking potshots at Lewis and calling him “a bore” for persisting with this – is he forcing you to listen / watch? As you likely don’t own any shares in Ferrari / Mercedes / any other F1 teams, why does this bother you? If you don’t like it, ignore it and scroll past the article.
    Ferrari, Mercedes, etc sell lots of cars to places like China, India, etc. It is very much in their interests to listen to what Lewis is saying – those of you who think this is about “Blacks taking over White sports”, think a bit deeper. Don’t you think little Chinese kids want to see Chinese F1 drivers winning, look up to them?
    The people most resistant to change are always the ones who think they benefit the most from the status quo.

    1. You are definitely overthinking it – you do have quite an imagination though..

  16. No HAM, you will never get a seat with the team most great drivers do this isn’t going to change things.
    He is making matters worse – the Colin Kaepernick of racing!
    A great driver but arrogant and not bright.

  17. I’m done with F1 over all this political correctness. It’s been creeping in for years and this is the last straw. So good bye RACE… fans

    1. Just F1? I hope you dont watch sport on Sky then. Because they are pushing this issue far more than F1, and were berating Wolff/Ham/F1/ post race for not doing enough on BLM issues compared to other sports.

  18. MB (@muralibhats)
    13th July 2020, 5:01

    Sad to see where this is all heading. This is not fighting for their rights. This is fighting to be dominant next to whites. He has no business in what other teams do. Just move on man.

    Guess Asians also should start their own movement. Browns, East Asians, Arab, etc… everyone start their own movements..

    1. @muralibhats Not going to happen. There’s systemic racism against Asians, Browns, East Asians, Arab that no one seems to care. The black was deem superior race that when a blacks married whites their kids would be ‘black’, but when it was other colour/ethnicity they would be called ‘mixed’.

      Every so called social justices happily get along with this blatant discrimination.

    2. This is fighting to be dominant next to whites. He has no business in what other teams do. Just move on man.

      I find this rather disturbing. To state he or the BLM are fighting for “dominance” is quite an extremist point of view. If ethnic minorities had the same equality as their white counterparts and they were pushing for actual dominance from that position of equality- then yeah, sure maybe that argument would hold some weight. The fact of the matter is structural racism exists and they are nowhere near “dominant”.

      Specifically on F1- I take you back to Hamilton’s early years when Mosley was the president of the FIA. The amount of crazy penalties Hamilton received- Belgium 2008 springs to mind among others. A few years later Mosley was exposed after being at a Nazi adult party. Now you tell me- if the top boss of motorsport had at the very least- questionable views on racial relations- do you really think that wouldn’t filter down the organisation in some form of way?

      Next point is in Hamilton’s country. Many right wing outlets such as the Telegraph, Express and Mail have consistently questioned Hamilton’s Britishness because his father is of Carribean heritage. Yet on the flip side we have guys like Kevin Pietersen (who is of South African heritage but is white) being hailed as a great British sports person. See the double standards? It’s not even just with Hamilton- see the propaganda that is written about other sports personnel of ethnic minority background like David Haye etc.

      Finally- on the point of the UK. Recently there was the Windrush scandal where black people where being illegally detained and deported after decades in this country.

      You state

      There’s systemic racism against Asians, Browns, East Asians, Arab that no one seems to care.

      If you have missed that these ethnicities are also part of the BLM movement as well then it really isn’t a surprise as to why you are getting worked up.

      Maybe, just maybe, this is part of the problem- wilfull ignorance that these issues exist.

      1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
        13th July 2020, 14:56

        Oh come on! That nonsense about Max Moseley has already been through the libel courts. The women involved in those uhuurm… ‘activities’ were speaking German, no more to it than that.

        The over-zealous penalties against Lewis during his early years at McLaren were nothing to do with racism and everything to to with the spygate scandal. Max Moseley and Ron Dennis’ didn’t make much effort to disguise their utter contempt for each other.