F1 explains university scholarship plan to improve diversity

Formula 1 will pay full tuition fees for talented young engineers from under-represented backgrounds to complete their degree through a scholarship as part of its push to improve diversity.

F1 explains university scholarship plan to improve diversity

F1 announced last June that it would be forming a new foundation to help fund apprenticeships and scholarships to improve diversity within the series following a push from many within the series to enact change.

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has been at the forefront of calls to bring deep-rooted change to F1, and spoke last year about the importance of providing opportunities to those from more diverse backgrounds. 

Speaking at the inaugural Autosport International Connect on Thursday, F1 director of strategy and business Yath Gangakumaran revealed further details about F1’s scholarship programme.

F1 will pay full tuition fees for students from diverse and traditionally under-represented backgrounds through the scholarship programme, as well as giving them a living allowance so they can focus fully on their studies.

“2020 was all about showcasing to the world that we take this topic very seriously, and ’21 is to show we’re not just all talk, we’re going to execute on our actions as well,” Gangakumaran explained.

“You’re going to see a number of different initiatives be launched, first from a job creation perspective, we’ll be launching within F1 opportunities, internships, apprenticeships, traineeships, for people from traditionally under-represented backgrounds to work in our organisation, within different departments.

“We’re really focused on ensuring that this experience isn’t just a box-ticking exercise, but is one where they will gain qualities and skills that can be transferrable to other organisations. That’s number one in terms of job opportunities within our company.

“Two is scholarships. We’ll be launching for the first time engineering scholarships for talented young students from diverse backgrounds, where we will be paying their full tuition fees across their degree.

“We’ll also providing them with a living stipend each year, so they don’t have to go and get a job while they’re studying.

“We’re working with all of the teams to ensure that these scholars are then given work experience opportunities at the teams, so it provides that pathway into a Formula 1 career where potentially they may not have thought that was an opportunity there.”

Gangakumaran also confirmed that F1 is working closely with Hamilton on his own commission to help improve diversity within the industry. Hamilton is also set to launch a new charity with his Mercedes team to further tackle the issue.

F1 is also set to place a greater involvement on female focus in motorsport this year by adding W Series to its support series roster at eight grands prix through 2021.

Gangakumaran explained how F1 was also working with the FIA to ensure the championships throughout the motorsport ladder were meritocracy, and did not disadvantage any group.

“We’re working with the FIA to look at what we can do in karting to make it much more accessible and meritocratic,” he said.

“We’re also looking at studies to understand the amount of effort and force required by drivers at different stages of the driving ladder, and whether or not there’s actually unconscious bias and a competitive disadvantage for certain cohorts versus others. For example, it’s actually easier to drive an F1 car than an F2 or F3 car, in terms of the amount of force required.

"We need to start looking into the data here, and if that’s the case across the ecosystem, what can we do with the FIA to introduce new regulations that can remove some of that disadvantage for certain cohorts?”

Keep up to date with the latest from ASI Connect by registering here. 

shares
comments

Related video

Mazepin doubts he'll carry aggressive driving style into F1

Previous article

Mazepin doubts he'll carry aggressive driving style into F1

Next article

Schumacher: Haas needs to be "feisty" like its livery in 2021

Schumacher: Haas needs to be "feisty" like its livery in 2021
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Luke Smith
The AlphaTauri improvements that mean Gasly’s form is no fluke Prime

The AlphaTauri improvements that mean Gasly’s form is no fluke

Pierre Gasly has driven superbly since demotion from Red Bull in 2019, but the team formerly known as Toro Rosso has come on strong too – building a car that can often challenge Ferrari and McLaren. Here Gasly reveals to ALEX KALINAUCKAS how AlphaTauri has given him the tools needed to rebuild his reputation

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish” Prime

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish”

We’ve seen five distinct versions of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes as he’s tried to fulfil his own ambitions while being a consummate team player – two difficult, competing missions which have been challenging to reconcile. Speaking exclusively to Stuart Codling, Bottas explains his highs and lows… and why he still believes he can be world champion.

Formula 1
May 15, 2021
How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean? Prime

How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But how long will their battle remain clean? Jonathan Noble ponders that exact point

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Prime

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021