Lewis Hamilton reveals one Formula 1 team is refusing to agree to new diversity charter

Lewis Hamilton has faced racism throughout this career in Formula 1. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Lewis Hamilton says that one Formula 1 team is refusing to a sign up to a new diversity charter designed to improve safety and inclusion in the top tier of motorsport.

F1 has been beset by a plethora of racism scandals in recent weeks, with the series under significant pressure to improve its track record on diversity in an environment which remains overwhelmingly male, heterosexual, able-bodied and white.

Footage of three-time former champion Nelson Piquet using a Brazilian-Portuguese equivalent of the n-word racial slur to describe Hamilton emerged online, Red Bull junior driver Juri Vips used the English-language term on a gaming live stream, while some Austrian Grand Prix attendees reported abuse including sexism, homophobia and racism from fellow fans over the course of the weekend.

F1 was criticised for its response to the Piquet incident, delivering a generic statement deploring racism without naming Piquet, while Hitech Grand Prix were also lambasted for allowing Vips to remain part of their Formula 2 team.

Now, Hamilton has revealed that progress on a new charter is close but is still being held up by the reluctance of one of F1’s ten teams.

‘F1 needs to do more,’ Hamilton told reporters ahead of this weekend’s French Grand Prix. ‘All the teams need to do more, and I think we are very close to getting this diversity inclusion charter going.

‘There’s one team, still the same team, is not willing to engage. But I’m grateful to see that the other teams are willing to step forward and do the work.’

Seven-time world champion Hamilton demanded action rather than words in response to Piquet’s disgraceful comments last month.

‘These archaic mindsets need to change and have no place in our sport,’ he wrote on Twitter. ‘I’ve been surrounded by these attitudes and targeted my whole life. There has been plenty of time to learn. Time has come for action.’

Lewis Hamilton has been working on a number of diversity projects in Formula 1 in recent years. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Hamilton has increasingly campaigned on diversity issues in the past few years. He is a prominent supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, and his Hamilton Commission has been set up to provide greater opportunity for young black people in STEM subjects and motorsport.

The former McLaren driver is also working with his Mercedes team to increase the diversity of its workforce, having faced instances of racism throughout his career since starting in F1 in 2007.

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