Extreme E celebrates a milestone today – a year since the launch of its successful Racing For All programme.
Informed by the findings of The Hamilton Commission, the programme creates opportunities for the next generation of mechanical and engineering talent to join the world’s most radical off-road electric racing series.
Inspired by The Hamilton Commission’s report ‘Accelerating Change: Improving Representation of Black People in UK Motorsport’ published in 2021, and initiatives like the FIA’s Girls on Track programme that the championship collaborates with, Extreme E has actively raised awareness of the barriers of opportunity and representation that exist within the motorsport talent pipeline. Published after ten months of research, The Hamilton Commission’s report provided a number of recommendations that the Commission believes will help to improve the representation of talent in UK motorsport, based around three key strands of action – Support and Empowerment, Accountability and Measurement, and Inspiration and Engagement.
Designed as a sport with purpose at the heart of the series, Extreme E seeks to accelerate cultural and behavioural change. Racing For All exemplifies the very foundation from which the series was created, which is to inspire, break barriers and encourage positive action. Extreme E seeks to inspire and empower all individuals to be a part of motorsport, providing equal opportunity between genders, backgrounds and across cultures.
The programme looks to provide opportunities for the next generation of motorsport talent, particularly encouraging candidates who are female, minority ethnic, or from a lower socio-economic background to apply. Aimed at those with less than one year’s professional motorsport experience, the programme provides the opportunity for mentorship and real-word experience, supporting them on their first step on the career ladder in a very competitive industry.
The initiative’s goal at the end of the campaign’s first season was to integrate half of Extreme E’s 10 racing teams with a candidate. This milestone was achieved ahead of schedule during the Hydro X Prix in Scotland, showcasing the continued developing significance of the initiative in the championship. Candidates have experienced the inner workings of an Extreme E outfit across the series, with roles ranging from recording data from runs out on course, to car and bodywork repairs.
When the Racing for All programme was first announced a year ago, Sir Lewis Hamilton, seven-time Formula 1TMWorld Champion and Team Owner of X44 Vida Carbon Racing Extreme E team, 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.”
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E, said: “Extreme E breaks the boundaries of traditional motorsport: with the series employing the first gender-equal motorsport, we have witnessed that the championship has been a strong platform for our women drivers. Their increased presence has translated within the wider motorsport network and has shown to inspire the next generation.
“Everyone deserves an opportunity, motorsport should be inclusive and accessible for everyone, regardless of their background or factors like race or gender. Racing For All was the next step in continuing our mission to instigate positive change, and to complete our Season 3 goal of offering opportunities to candidates across 50% of our grid in just Race 2 shows our commitment to mentoring and creating a pathway for these young bright minds to grow and provide real industry opportunities.
“I look forward to continuing to welcome the next generation of talent into our championship, developing their skills and breaking down the barriers of traditional motorsport.”
Extreme E also works closely with EqualEngineers, whose Pathways Programme is supporting engineering students from diverse backgrounds to secure graduate employment in engineering. At the Hydro X Prix in Scotland, a team from EqualEngineers delivered engagement sessions supporting the Racing for All candidates, improving their practical and communications skills.
Guy Nicholls, Head of Sporting at Extreme E, said: “Welcoming the next generation of motorsport talent to the Extreme E paddock has been a rewarding experience, not only for the series, but personally within our Sporting team. Working with each of our teams through their recruitment processes and integrating the candidates into the paddock and the series’ operations has been fantastic.
“Scotland, especially being such an extreme track, really showed how our candidates can gain real-world, valuable experience. The Racing for All team members have been a real asset in assisting their teams across a wide variety of roles, providing valuable support during a challenging race weekend at a new venue. Mentorship is something I champion, and this programme provides exactly that to those who may not usually receive or have access to opportunities in motorsport.
“It has been truly a gratifying journey to watch the Racing for All initiative grow and I can’t wait to welcome more candidates to the paddock as we develop our programme.”