Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes F1 have announced the launch of Ignite, a joint charitable initiative dedicated to supporting greater diversity and inclusion within motorsport.
The joint effort between the two partners aims to build on the recent recommendations published by The Hamilton Commission, with a focus on "the pipeline of more diverse talent aiming to enter the motorsport industry - and igniting and inspiring enthusiasm for motorsport through STEM education".
The UK-based initiative has listed a series of non-exhaustive efforts that will include: developing exciting and stimulating STEM curriculum materials; developing more diverse educators to role model and inspire students from under-represented groups in STEM; enhancing education enrichment opportunities around STEM and motorsport; and providing financial support to talented and motivated students wishing to pursue careers in STEM and motorsport but who don't have the means.
Funding for Ignite's efforts will be provided by a multi-million-dollar fund created by Hamilton and the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team, while the charity will work closely with the seven-time world champion's personal foundation, Mission 44, to deliver "tangible results for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team and the wider UK motorsport industry".
Mission 44, funded by a $20 million personal pledge by Hamilton, has been created to support, champion and empower young people from under-represented groups in the UK.
"Supporting the ambitions of under-represented young people has always been important to me and Mission 44 represents my commitment to create real change within this community," said Hamilton.
"In my early life, I experienced first-hand how coming from an under-represented background can affect your future, but, luckily for me, I was able to overcome those odds through opportunity and support.
"I want to ensure that other young people from similar backgrounds are able to do the same.
"Mercedes have long supported my ambition to improve diversity and inclusion within the motorsport industry," added the Briton.
"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."
Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff believes Ignite will help much more talent from under-represented groups join the Brackley squad in the future.
"I am delighted today that we can finally talk about our plans for the Ignite initiative," said Wolff.
"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."