Extreme E has announced its 'Racing for All initiative', informed by the findings of the Hamilton Commission, which will create opportunities for mechanical and engineering talent from under-represented groups.
The off-road electric racing series has been working with influential figures across the industry, including Sir Lewis Hamilton himself, to develop a programme to address the barriers to entry that permeate motorsport.
Currently, Extreme E teams are limited to five mechanics or engineers to help reduce overall attendance on a race weekend, but the new initative will provide an additional position for a sixth member to join each to gain experience. This position will be open to those with fewer than one year's professional motorsport experience.
As a sport for purpose series, Extreme E is targeting those who might not otherwise be able to have this opportunity, particulalry those who are female, minority ethnic, or from a lower socio-economic background. The series is also working with consultants from EqualEngineers in their goal to educate its teams on inclusive recruitment processes.
“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,” said Hamilton.
“When I first discussed the idea of creating a programme with Alejandro [Agag, founder and chief executive of the series, as well as] the Extreme E team, we all agreed that it had to be something which led to real change. 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.”
Agag added: “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.”
The majority of Extreme E teams in the paddock have indicated that they are already actively hiring ahead of next season.