Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2020

Ferrari chairman responds to Hamilton’s call to “hold themselves accountable” over diversity

2020 F1 season

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Ferrari chairman John Elkann has responded to Lewis Hamilton’s call for the team to do more to promote diversity within their Formula 1 team and wider organisation.

Following the Styrian Grand Prix Hamilton said he wants other F1 teams to follow the lead of Mercedes by taking steps to hire a more diverse workforce, naming Ferrari among them.

“Formula 1 has come forward and said that they are supporting ‘end racism’ and it’s amazing to see Mercedes doing the same thing,” said Hamilton. “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.”

Elkann, who took over from Sergio Marchionne as Ferrari chairman in 2018, stressed the team shares Hamilton’s desire to see F1 become a more inclusive sport. “The civil commitment he is carrying out is important and is dear to us,” he said an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport.

John Elkann, Ferrari, Baku, 2019
Elkann, seen in 2019, praised Hamilton’s “civil commitment”
Elkann said it is important to recognise that as of July 2nd Ferrari was the first and only company in Italy to implement “the Equal Salary certification for equal pay for women and men with the same qualifications and duties.” He said the move “testifies our commitment to a work environment [which is] inclusive and respectful of differences.”

The Ferrari chairman praised Hamilton, calling the six-times champion as “an exceptional driver” who he believes “can become the most successful ever”, overtaking Ferrari hero Michael Schumacher.

“He has been able to work with concentration and intelligence. His move from McLaren to Mercedes was not an easy one. It was not obvious and it was a winning choice.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
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70 comments on “Ferrari chairman responds to Hamilton’s call to “hold themselves accountable” over diversity”

  1. G (@unklegsif)
    28th July 2020, 10:43

    Equal Salary certification for equal pay for women and men with the same qualifications and duties

    mmm, commendable, however the gender pay gap is not quite what Lewis is discussing

    Italy should have been doing this for a while anyway
    EU countries must end all discrimination from their national rules and laws. The EU monitors the correct application and enforcement of EU law on equal pay in EU countries and supports them to properly implement existing rules

    1. At least he is engaging with the issue, unlike Bernie and Mr Andretti and even Sir Jacky Stewart who are quick to get on their high horses and think the status quo should remain.

      1. Once again, when our Black brothers and sisters shine a light on racism, the attention is deliberately shifted elsewhere.

      2. I think you should show more respect for someone like Jackie Stewart. Some people like to be loud on social media while others are fully occupied by the severe medical conditions of their loved ones, and those conditions are by no means minor or uncommon in the society.

        1. Jackie Stewart deserves no respect. He is a bitter little man. Bitter his records have been ripped from his long pockets. Bitter that it was lewis to do it. Bitter that Lewis refused to bow to him and drive the way he said he should. Bitter that Lewis did it his own way. Shameful little jock.

          1. Justin (@wayoftheexplodingfist)
            28th July 2020, 20:08

            Forgive me if I am wrong, but, wasn’t it Mansell that broke most of Jackie Stewart’s records

          2. At least it’s obvious, “respect” is not in your vocabulary.

          3. I have to agree with you DeanR

    2. Well, I do think that gender equality certainly is one area where F1 can do a lot to improve. But I agree that it clearly covers only a wedge of the whole rainbow of diversity that needs a lot of work in F1, in Italy, in the EU and in the larger word.

      I guess this is a start, as @f1tshif mentions, be it a rather basic one.

    3. So what you’re saying is that Lewis is only interested in racial diversity, and gender equality has no value to him?

      Since when did Lewis Hamilton alone determine what other individuals, sports, companies and nations priorities should be?

      Or could it be that you are the problem, by publicly misrepresenting Lewis in your very unofficial capacity?

      1. thank you dale, exactly right ! and it has to also be said that what was a quarter of a century ago is not what is anymore in the same way ! many are referring to plights from “back in the day” that are not quite in the same arena anymore. things have changed, they have not changed enough and there are shocking examples to remind us every now and so often, but no recognition is being given where steps toward equality are being made. evolution is a slow process and requires ingredients that must be provided by all.

      2. The misandric feminist movement has many disciples peddling the gender wage gap myth (search for the numerous articles by reputable sources such as Forbes on this myth which refuses to die because of the feminist hegemony). Lewis on the other hand is pointing out an area which desperately needs addressing – racial discrimination. Therefore, Ferrari should talk about racial equity rather than pointing out their feminist fawning policies. Please Lewis continue your messaging.

        1. Forbes “Contributors” are about as reputable as The Sun lmao.

          Also, how do you refute literal stats anyways, the wage gap exists, it’s recorded fact.

          1. If you were interested in how then you’d actually look into the matter. These are tired old narratives that have been doing the rounds for several decades. Educate yourself on the use and misuse of statistics otherwise you’ll fall for any argument punctuated by a statistic no matter how tenuous.

          2. @aiii
            If we aggregate the numbers we find that yes men earn more money than women. However, men also work considerably more hours, take on considerably riskier jobs, take on considerably more undesirable work.

            If we look at unmarried young women in urban environments they actually earn considerably more than unmarried young men in urban environments. The point is these days there actually little in the way of discrimination and more to do with life choices.

            Indeed, recent studies have found that it is women who get paid considerably *more* for the same work as men. And that when resumes are gender hidden it is found men are the ones who are discriminated against – especially in areas such as STEM where there are few women, because firms are so desperate for women.

            I could go on and on about this, and it boils down to fundamental different interests and priorities between men and women in aggregate. The information is all out there, but it is something hidden by the media because it is an inconvenient truth completely at odds with the feminist hegemony’s narrative.

            Whereas, if we look at race, we find considerably more discrimination. So well done to Lewis for highlighting this.

        2. misandric


          1. @coldfly

            Yes, wonderful vocabulary! I would argue both misologist and misandric. Yes, it is great Ferrari are keen to give more women a crack. But it’s disappointing Ferrari are not addressing what Lewis is talking about.

          2. Hi Alex Roy,

            “Whereas, if we look at race, we find considerably more discrimination. So well done to Lewis for highlighting this”

            There is no malice intended here, but how so? I am a brown guy (yes since this is about race I might as well lead with that) who immigrated to Australia from Malaysia, my country of birth, also where I subject to racial discrimination by law. Myself, like a significant portion of minority Malaysians , have immigrated to Western nations to escape systemic discrimination.

            Having lived and worked in the UK, US and now Australia, I can’t seen how I was/am discriminated against in anyway shape or form. Once again, I can only speak to personal experiences, but the experiences of my fellow country people have been the same.

            So once again, how am I racially discriminated against? I honestly dont know, and would like an answer. Maybe I dont count, because I’ve had a relatively successful career despite my colour? I’m confused, and as I said, no malice intended..I genuinely dont know.

          3. William Jones
            29th July 2020, 5:19

            @jay-menon10 – this is specifically about technical jobs in the racing industry. If you have a skilled job in a team or a periphery industry, then you’ll need to say that, because it reads like you just have – not even a stem job but even a non salaried non skilled job!

    4. How so, doesn’t equality for men and women cover all races?

    5. True the lateral move mentioning gender equality missed a great direct response to Lewis’ question.
      But! Lewis opened the salvo/debate by mentioning diversity BUT in his narrow definition. The VALID response opened the diversity debate question to all issues: women in this case and Ferrari’s expanded question back now has Lewis to reject or accept the definition.
      Zero doubt in my experience that gender and race are without default issues. I’m a person of color whom passes easily in the white world and have had less issues than many relatives.. that’s first hand experience.
      Lewis opened this debate and has an opportunity to respectfully address Ferrari’s challenge. Lewis must now answer an even tougher question: What has Mercedes done to address gender equality. Afterall he pushed Ferrari blindly into a response but sidestepped his team. His chess move is misplaced. And BTW I truly have always like Hamilton.

  2. So it’s about black lives that could ended racism by doing some gestures and changing car livery which lead to equal payment among known gender on STEM field.

    It’s lovely to see unity in F1 community.

    1. Tony Mansell
      28th July 2020, 16:32

      I think everyone knows where you stand. You post on every article of this nature. Your parents must be so proud. For me, you embarrass yourself

      1. And where do you stand? Let it out, don’t embarrassed your parents.

  3. Everybody, singular or plural has to start somewhere. And have to continuously move towards the goal of non racial non sexest etc. We may see the finish line but it will always move further away as we get closer. But progress must still made.

  4. LH striving for “Struggle” credentials!

    1. And will end up getting them.

  5. G (@unklegsif)
    28th July 2020, 11:54

    All very true, obviously – its more the sleight of hand that I was referencing

    “Ive been accused of not doing ABC…. but look at the the good XYZ that I AM doing”

      1. G (@unklegsif)
        28th July 2020, 13:55

        Wow, Now thats ironic!
        Especially given I made specific reference to being in agreement

    1. @unklegsif

      A vague answer seems like a good response to a vague demand. What is Ferrari supposed to do to ‘end racism?’

  6. :D I think, to prove their push for diversity, they should hire a certain black driver.

    I wonder if Lewis would be up for such a push in diversity, and help Ferrari on the path?

    1. Maybe thats why he is being nice. Realising that Leclerc is not all he is cracked up to be?

      1. Do you mean the same Leclerc who out scored a certain 4-time WDC in his first year at Ferrari even though the senior driver was given preferential treatment in the first half of the season?

      2. Sekou forbes
        29th July 2020, 15:56

        If Ferrari or any other are going to hire another driver it should not be based on their race, gender, etc. It should only be based on their ABILITY to race

    2. kevin citron
      29th July 2020, 2:45

      the last thing ferrari wants is more drama that hammy would surely bring. the italians are also less to be infected with white guilt syndrome.

  7. Why does Lewis do something? We have seen IndyCar driver promote a young Myles Rowe who seems to be gaining traction and potential as well as attention thanks to Will Power. Who has Lewis taken under his arm? Farm animals?

    1. And then what will the cries be? “He/she is only here because of Lewis..blah blah”

  8. Cmon Ferrari, just sign Hamilton already. For all the right wing racist hate being heaped on Hamilton at the moment in social media (racefans FB site is testament to this), and sadly by bots too for propoganda purposrs, the hate is completely uncalled for. So many white people up the pit lane and the other drivers are kneeling and standing up to racism. Sport is a perfect platform for helping to end social injustice, the fact that Ferrari replied with such a strong message of solidarity is testament to the power Hamilton holds, as f1 champion and a fan favorite of millions, he has a Very strong voice he can use that can help create change. He could stop talking about the issue like many ignorant race fans want him to do, or he can make a difference, and he is making a difference. Never been a fan of him myself, but now I am. 38yo white male. I believe my countryman Daniel Ricciardi feels strongly for #blm, but no one critisez him for taking a knee the way they criticize Hamilton… You wonder why hey.

    1. Bravo sir +1

    2. Ive read your comments over the years and was thinking…here we go…kpKart is piping up again about Lewis. Kudos to you my friend, kudos.

    3. Completely agree. You my guy is spot on. Only if everyone could have your insight and understanding of racial discrimination.

    4. @kpcart

      Ricciardo is not bullying others…

  9. Doesn’t Hamilton live in Monte Carlo maybe one of the least diverse places on Earth (unless you count a few mega-rich Chinese).

    1. So being diversity in a less diverse location is what exactly? What are you implying?

    2. He lives for most of the time in the US with homes in New York, LA, Colorado and Florida I believe. So reasonably diverse.

      1. And rich for a so called under privileged person with a chain around his neck

  10. The message he is standing for is very important, but I dont see how we can expect to see change straight away, as you cant just sack people because they have white skin, and replace them with people with non white skin. This is something that can only be addressed from a grass roots level, and then it slowly works its way up through the pyramid. Whether that be drivers, engineers or team bosses. This isnt change that can happen overnight without the change being racist itself (as per my first sentence). Its not that formula 1 is a white privileged sport, it is just a ‘rich’ privileged sport. Green is the only important colour in motorsport, and you needs lots of it to take part (as someone who has run a team in the EPEC series I can vouch that even in karting you need lots of money to compete every year). So if the bottom of the ladder in motorsport isnt very diverse (and it wasnt at the 24hr races I have been part of) how on earth does he expect to see immediate change in F1 at the top of the ladder. I am all for diversity in sport, but you cant force people to be interested in something they are not interested in. The equivalent of this would be to ask all the NBA team owners in America that there should be more white players on all the teams as it isnt diverse enough across the board. I am 100% sure that the NBA coaches have employed the best players for the teams, no matter the skin colour, and I am certain that the F1 teams have done the same. Monisha Kaltenborn was proof of that. Vijay at Force India, Karun Chandhock, Narain Karthikeyan. So it is possible to have diversity in F1, as there already is and has been, but for the numbers to rise across the board then grass roots is where the focus should be. And unless motorsport becomes affordable even at the lower levels, then when it comes to drivers in particular, it will only ever be people with talent and money that will progress. On the business and engineering side, it is again a grass roots thing. Its schools. colleges and Universities that need to encourage diversity in certain professions, and maybe it needs to go even lower and earlier than that….. maybe its down to parents to encourage their children more into certain professions. But at the end of the day you cant force people to pick a career path in something they have no interest in. I am all for his message, but you cant expect to see change after just a couple of weeks of taking a knee and speaking out. And you cant force people to take a knee if they dont want to, that in itself is oppression.

    1. But his Commission is about looking at the things you highlight, and he has said you can’t expect results from that for 5 to 10 years. As for grass roots levels, that’s where he has been for the last few years. His work with the UN, Save the Children, inner city schools and homeless children has all been about education and opportunities. And the work he is doing within his Commission, Global Teacher Initiative and Alperton in particular are all aimed towards STEM.
      I think his frustration is more that F1 picked up this mantle a year ago, made a big thing about it, and very little has happened since . Or most are not aware of it.

      1. If 5-10 years is the assumed timescale for change then I fear that there will be significant disappointment after this time. In my view most of the impact of any work done now to increase diversity (of any kind) within F1 will take up to 30 years to appear.

        To be the best you can be within key roles within F1 (driver, designer etc) you will need to be engaged in STEM by 12-15 (younger if a driver). If your key demographic is engaged today, to reach a Technical Director level where people will see the results could be 30+ years away.

        Everything that Lewis is doing seems to be good and making the right noises but this is a serious long-term commitment.

        1. I should have been clearer. 5 to 10 years before before any results are felt at STEM entry level. As you indicated, pretty much engaged by the time they enter secondary education. And I think the long term commitment will be what he and Mercedes are working on now. Basically his legacy. Like Sir Stirling, Ham will be a Mercedes Ambassador for life.

    2. G (@unklegsif)
      28th July 2020, 15:16

      Great points Gubstar, and its basically what the FIA Commision and the programme Lewis has set up is setting out to acheive – working from the grass roots up in all disciplines – engineering, aero, design, all the way through to drivers and management.
      None of the actual programmes are about, “Get black drivers in F1 now” which is what a lot of people seem to think

  11. As a second-generation German-American who would have gladly picked up a M1 Carbine and pointed them at my grandfather’s brothers and pulled the trigger, I’m having trouble hearing the driver paid by the company who “motorized the movement [National Socialists]”, and who’s cars were “personal favorite[s] of the Fuhrer, who generally rode in Mercedes cars” made by slaves who were shot for not tightening screws fast enough.

    What was he saying again?

    (Mercedes in Peace and War by Bernard Bellon. Its a history book. Lewis should read a few.)

  12. Good Work Lewis. You will be remembered like Mohammed Ali. Not just the greatest driver, but a great philanthropist!

    1. But some remember Ali for being a big-mouth with brain damage.

  13. All of these sensible and supportive views on humanity moving forward, are making me very emotional. Deep in all of us is a desire for a better world especially for our children. We’ve got to do it, not leave it to the next generation. Kudos to Lewis on his leadership!

  14. As far as the pay gap goes, people should get paid based on experience, not what sex you are. As for racism, not to many black folks want to get into f1 racing. So it’s not as if they are being told no, you cant compete in f1 because you are black. No one that is black is showing any interest in driving in f1. Hard to hire someone who isnt even interested in the job to begin with.

    1. Spot on. F1 is already diverse quite a bit. You got Perez and Lecler who are both Latino and color (they also are part of this issue, not just African Americans), you have Hamilton who is of colored origin, and may I also remind that Andretti is if color also. F1 is basically set on Diversity. Its mainly the other issue, Gender Equality. Out of all the drivers Ive seen, there have been almost no women. Production based Auto Racing is doing great on that front with drivers like Catherine Legge, Sophia Florensch, Halie Deegan, and others. Open wheel on the other hand, not so much. The FIA is mostly the reason for this in my opinion (Liberty Media probably also). ACO also same with NASCAR. Luckily we are starting to see change, ex the W series is helping females alike get interested in driving. GEAR is helping get a next generation of young Female drivers ready for that change. It will take time but it will come eventually. Same with what you said above, we need to get colored people interested in driving. Maybe Hamilton should do more than just talk, he should start program alongside Mercedes F1 that aspires to help the new gen of colored drivers.

  15. kevin citron
    28th July 2020, 18:09

    stay in your lane hammy

    1. It hurts his is a thousand fold bigger than yours, guess that’s why you want him in his, but problem is, his influences so many things, while yours doesn’t.

      1. kevin citron
        29th July 2020, 2:37

        he’s about as influential as your english teacher was.

        1. Know your place boy

  16. Actually quite impressed by this response. I was really expecting a ‘oh well he shouldnt be sticking his nose in our business’ sort of thing. Like it wasn’t perfect, but far better than I feared when clicking on the article.

    1. No matter how a company feels about the issue, the smart play is to make the right noises, because ‘woke’ people are very intolerant and have lots of power.

  17. Going slightly off topic but there is a lot of misconception in this thread about what the gender pay gap actually means.

    My understanding is that the gender pay gap looks at the mean pay of each gender within a company, and generally the male number is higher due to more senior management being male (this is not exclusively true however).

    Therefore it is possible (and common) to pay equal salary based on gender and have a large gender pay gap. Easiest way to reduce the gender lay gap is by promoting women to higher levels of a business.

    Going back to Ferrari’s statement, paying the same salary for the same job based on gender is not practically groundbreaking.

  18. Is there a measure on when a satisfactory level of “diversity” is reached?

    The notion of reaching a level of “diversity”, to satisfy any and all observers, is so abstract as to defy any meaningful measurement, and as such will never be reached. Hence the perpetually aggrieved will milk this for ever and ever, amen.

    1. kevin citron
      29th July 2020, 2:41

      the strategy is that the more abstract the goal the better. similarly, you can then vaguely point to your opponents as racist and no one in the media will call your bs.

  19. Why must Ferrari address what Lewis wants them to address, are they not free to address issues of their choosing as Lewis is doing?
    Lewis is not God with the right to determining what others should do.

    1. MCG I agree absolutely! But I applaud Lewis anyway!

      1. Absolutely, He has the right to ask people to support him, he does not have the right to call them out (Name and Shame) for not doing exactly what he wants. That is the behavior of a spoiled brat.

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