F1 to put underrepresented youngsters in pole position with Cambridge scholarship

Sir Lewis Hamilton has been championing diversity in F1 Credit: PA Images

Formula One is taking another step toward making the sport more diverse - by offering a scholarship to Cambridge.

The sport is to fund a place for an undergraduate student from an underrepresented background to study for an engineering degree at the university.

Diversity in motor racing has been championed by Sir Lewis Hamilton. He has been raising awareness of the lack of black drivers in the sport, and is working with teams and governing bodies to encourage more youngsters from diverse cultural backgrounds to get involved.

Speaking in May, the seven-time World Champion, said he feared the sport was becoming less and less accessible, describing it as a billionaire's boys club.

Now the sport is hoping to encourage young engineers from diverse backgrounds to get involved in the sport.

Engineering is a vital to success, from working on the aerodynamics of the car, to developing new materials and components.

Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda AT02, action with sensors on the car for aerodynamics analysis during the pre-season testing Credit: PA Images

Formula 1 announced last year that as a sport it would focus specifically on creating employment and education opportunities for underrepresented groups with a personal contribution of around £700,000 from Non- Executive Chairman, Chase Carey to help fund the scholarships.

Now the Formula 1 Engineering Scholarships, for ten students from underrepresented groups including ethnic minorities, women, and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

Each scholarship will provide the full cost of a student’s tuition, together with a living stipend. The scholars will be part of the September/October 2021 intake of undergraduate courses in the UK and Masters (Postgraduate) in Italy.

All ten Formula 1 teams have committed to provide work experience opportunities to a scholar during their time at university.

As well as the Scholarship programme, Formula 1 is launching an Apprentice Programme and Internship Programme for underrepresented groups.

Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of Formula 1 said:

"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 action to ensure talented people from underrepresented groups have the best opportunities to get into, and build, a fantastic career in this amazing sport."

Professor Richard Prager, the Head of the University of Cambridge’s Engineering Dept, said: