Updated: Sep 8
Written by William Stephens, Edited by Simran Kanthi
Extreme E, the world's first electric off-road series which has been pushing diversity since inception, has launched a new initiative that uses The Hamilton Commission findings to create new opportunities for mechanical and engineering talents.
Through The Hamilton Commission report from last year and the FIA Girls on Track initiative, Extreme E is aware of the barriers that still exist through bias and lack of opportunity. Hence, the team has been working with people behind the programmes, including the seven-time F1 World Champion and Extreme E Team Owner Sir Lewis Hamilton, to create a programme that will have a lasting effect on some of the barriers.
Under the regulations, each team is only allowed five mechanics or engineers and with this initiative, a sixth is to join and gain hands-on experience. This is open to those with less than one year of working experience in professional motorsport to show them how the teams operate and be the first step in a competitive industry.
As a sport-for-purpose series, this initiative will strengthen the core building blocks by supporting the ethos the series was built upon by inspiring positive action.
Sir Lewis Hamilton said, "We know from the findings of The Hamilton Commission that our industry is a tough place to break into, particularly for those from underrepresented backgrounds, which is why it's so important that the Racing for All programme will be creating genuine opportunities for the next generation.
"When I first discussed the idea of creating a programme with Alejandro and the Extreme E team, we all agreed that it had to be something which led to real change, and I believe Racing for All does just that. I'm so excited to see this programme adopted across the paddock, and I can't wait to see what the first group of Racing for All candidates goes on to achieve."
Alejandro Agag, Founder, and CEO of Extreme E said: "We are delighted to launch the Racing for All initiative. We are fully supportive of the findings of The Hamilton Commission and are working with our teams to provide a clear path for the brilliant engineers and mechanics of the future, who may not so readily have the opportunities to succeed.
"Our goal is for Racing for All to instil an inclusive mindset and a wider recruitment pipeline which enables the next generation of race mechanics and engineers to reach the highest levels of motorsport, regardless of factors such as race, gender or social-economic status, and reduce the barriers which exist for certain communities."
Dr. Mark McBride-Wright CEng, Founder, and CEO of EqualEngineers said: "Extreme E presents a fantastic opportunity for the engineering sector to help encourage individuals from underrepresented backgrounds who will lead future changes in technological innovation, and also become our future leaders.
"Extreme E is looking to break the boundaries of traditional motorsports, and that is something which we fully support. We welcome the action-focused mindset and look forward to supporting them and their teams as the championship develops."
Nico Rosberg, 2016 F1 World Champion and Team Owner of Rosberg X Racing, said: "Extreme E's commitment to environmental and social matters was the main draw for us to join the series and I am excited to see another progressive initiative come to fruition, aiming at removing barriers to motorsport. It is a sport that lives from different experiences, backgrounds, views, and skills, so we all benefit from welcoming more diverse talent into our team."
Jenson Button, 2009 F1 World Champion and Team Owner of Extreme E Team JBXE, said: "With all my years in motorsport, I've seen first-hand just how vital the push for equality in motorsport and engineering is, so it is encouraging to see Extreme E making this issue such a priority. Everyone, no matter what their gender, race, or background, should be able to get involved, and Racing for All will be a huge step towards making this the norm."
Leena Gade, Senior Principal Race Engineer at NEOM McLaren XE Team, added: "I am delighted that Extreme E is doing its bit to help widen opportunities to people from underrepresented backgrounds in motorsport. Diversity is so important to bring together different ideas and perspectives to help us innovate and be better at what we do.
"Racing for All will give these young people vital experience and exposure, setting them up for their futures. Everyone at McLaren Racing cannot wait to see the impact this has on the series and the wider industry."
For those who wish to take part in this should visit: https://www.extreme-e.com/en/racing-for-all