F1 announces engineering scholarship programmes for underrepresented groups


Students from underrepresented backgrounds will be offered F1 scholarships in efforts to improve representation in the sport

F1 2021 Austria

F1 has announced plans to improve representation in the sport with a new work and education initiative

Peter Fox/Getty Images

Formula 1 has announced plans to create a new programme for underrepresented groups as part of its efforts to improve diversity and inclusion within the sport.

Engineering-focused scholarships for underrepresented students, apprenticeship and internship programmes will be offered as part of the new initiative following on from Formula 1’s #WeRaceAsOne programme.

It comes a day after Lewis Hamilton’s Hamilton Commission published its report into the lack of diversity in F1 and UK motor sport and called on F1 to help under-privileged students gain opportunities in the industry.

10 students from underrepresented and under-privileged backgrounds will be provided with scholarships for the September 2021 intake of undergraduate courses in the UK and Masters (Postgraduate) in Italy.

Every F1 team on the 2021 grid has committed to offering work experience placements for each student during their scholarships at one of the included faculties.

Motorvehicle University of Emilia-Romagna (Italy), will take three scholars, the University of Oxford and Strathclyde University will offer two each, and the University of Cambridge, Coventry University and Manchester Metropolitan University will each take one. Each university will go through its own selection process for scholarship recipients.

Related article

F1 will place two long-term apprentices within its organisation during the 2021 season. Those from underrepresented groups will get the chance to take on an apprenticeship beginning in September and focus on mechanical engineering.

The internship programme will run both short and long-term placements. Two placements have already been assigned within F1’s Motorsport and Marketing division, while the other four will be selected over the next several weeks with the help of diversity and inclusion partners.

“We believe that as a truly international sport we can make a difference by using our voice and determination to address these vital issues,” a Formula 1 statement said.

“Formula 1 is a sport that represents millions of global fans and we want to take steps to ensure we are as diverse and inclusive in our own community as the communities we serve around the world.”

The programme has been part financed by a personal contribution from former CEO and current non-executive chairman of F1, Chase Carey. Current president and CEO Stefano Domenicali said that the initiatives would help ensure talent from underrepresented backgrounds get the chance to build careers in the motor sport industry and Formula 1.

“Formula 1 is a global sport with fans across the world. We want to be as diverse as our fan base and that is why we are taking direct action to ensure talented people from underrepresented groups have the best opportunities to get into, and build, a fantastic career in this amazing sport,” he said.

“I am delighted to announce that scholars, apprentices and interns will get the chance to fulfil their dreams in Formula 1 and I know they have amazing futures ahead of them. I want to pay particular thanks to Chase whose generous donation is funding the 10 scholarships.

“Our #WeRaceAsOne platform is our commitment to make real change and shows our recognition that we know we must make a positive contribution to the world we live in. All of the teams are committed to this and the work of the Hamilton Commission shows the dedication to adressing these issues across Formula 1.

“Our focus is on diversity & inclusion, sustainability and community and we will continue to drive forward with our plans to be more diverse, more sustainable and leave a lasting positive impact on the countries and communities we visit. We know we must continue to move forward on these issues and the whole sport is united in doing this in the months and years ahead.”