The Hamilton Commission

The Hamilton Commission

The Hamilton Commission

Terms of reference

Purpose & Scope

This Hamilton Commission will seek to improve the representation of Black people in UK motorsport. For the purposes of this research the term Black people includes Black African, Black Caribbean, Black British and those with mixed heritage Black African or Black Caribbean backgrounds.

While it is recognised that there is a wide tradition in the UK of “political blackness”, an umbrella term used to refer to all people who are likely to experience racial discrimination based on skin colour, it was felt that a specific focus on the experiences and representation of Black people in motorsport will ensure a tight set of recommendations and actions. This research will endeavour to pull out data on Black communities where possible but recognise for some data this may not be possible. Where no data exists specifically on Black people, the Commission will make use of data on broader minority ethnic groups.

In addition, there may be recommendations related to engaging the wider demographic of young Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people as well as recommendations to support inclusive recruitment and progression practices, which will benefit diverse candidates more broadly.

As part of The Hamilton Commission, a range of activities will take place to help inform the research findings. These activities will include an initial data analysis, stakeholder mapping and engagement, a literature review in sport, education and employment, as well as in-depth surveying and analysis with youth focus groups and key stakeholders. This work will only examine challenges around STEM and the motorsport industry specific to the UK, but we hope that, where possible, the recommendations and actions from the research will be replicable internationally.


The Hamilton Commission will be co-chaired by Lewis Hamilton MBE and Dr Hayaatun Sillem CBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering. The Board of Commissioners is an independent group that will bring their expertise, knowledge and experience from their respective fields to The Hamilton Commission, to oversee the research, discuss the findings and support the development of the final actions and recommendations, that will help improve the representation of Black people in UK motorsport.

The membership of The Board of Commissioners will aim to reflect the key groups with interest and influence in the study. These include representatives of motorsport, engineering, schools, colleges and universities, community and youth organisations working with young Black people, and representation from major UK political parties. Responsibilities of the Board of Commissioners include:

  • Review and inform the research methodology to ensure the outputs provide deep insight into the attitudes of young Black people towards engineering and more specifically, a career in motorsports engineering.
  • Examine the research findings to help identify the key challenges and opportunities for recruitment and career progression for young Black people within STEM and various roles in UK motorsport.
  • Advise on the final actions and recommendations that will come from the research findings, and that will be taken to key stakeholders as part of The Hamilton Commission.
  • Apply personal influence to champion the issues around ethnic diversity in all stages of education and training relating to progression towards careers in motorsport.


The Hamilton Commission research project will run for nine months, beginning September 2020. There will be four meetings of the Board of Commissioners throughout the process. A further implementation period will then follow to embed the recommendations. The Board of Commissioners will be informed of progress during this period but will not be expected to engage unless they wish to do so.

Secretariat: Lewis Hamilton’s communications consultancy, Freud Communications Ltd. will provide secretariat to The Hamilton Commission. The Royal Academy of Engineering will undertake research and analysis for The Hamilton Commission and produce the final report with support from Freud Communications Ltd.