Sheffield Formula Racing from the University of Sheffield has won the Racing Pride Aston Martin Award for Diversity & Inclusion 2023. The Award is now in its second year and is intended to recognise the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Formula Student teams which do the most to promote diversity and inclusion broadly year-round – including, but not limited to, of the LGBTQ+ community. The true purpose of the Award is also to inspire and encourage teams across the competition to think about how they can be more inclusive in their day-to-day operations and how they can contribute to creating a more diverse industry for the future.
Racing Pride is partnered with Formula Student and this Award also draws on Racing Pride’s partnerships with both Aston Martin Lagonda and Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team. Members of the internal DE&I groups at Aston Martin served as industry expert judges for the Award, and Aston Martin provided exciting prize experiences for the winning team.
As part of the application process, teams were asked to provide information about: levels of diversity within the team; welfare and inclusion arrangements within the team such as welfare officers, inclusion training, feedback mechanisms, incident reporting and resolution mechanisms, and any internal written materials relating to inclusion policies and best practices; examples of social media content or other media output promoting diversity and inclusion; and any initiatives or events the team has created, hosted, or been involved with either internally or externally to promote diversity and inclusion.
Three teams were shortlisted for the Award, with each having provided evidence of fantastic work in this area. Sheffield Formula Racing was joined on the shortlist by UCD Formula Student from University College Dublin and last year’s inaugural winners Formula Trinity from Trinity College Dublin.
The judges chose Sheffield Formula Racing as this year’s winners for a number of reasons:
– The team is composed of a diverse range of students and provided impressive statistics, particularly in relation to racial diversity and inclusion of those with disabilities
– There are detailed welfare and incident reporting structures in place, alongside an internal EDI support group
– The team has participated in school outreach visits and projects to broaden participation in STEM
– The team has regularly promoted inclusion in its communications, such as celebrating Pride month and highlighting diverse members of the team
The Award was presented at the Formula Student finals at Silverstone in July by Racing Pride Co-Founder Richard Morris together with Aston Martin Formula One Team’s Eleanor Rajaratnam and Carys Conlon (who is also a Racing Pride Industry Ambassador).
Following their win, the team was treated to an exclusive tour of the brand new Aston Martin F1 Campus and a full day at Base Performance Simulators – a state-of-the-art facility featuring an Aston Martin GT simulator – courtesy of Aston Martin Lagonda. Through the factory tour the group was given a behind-the-scenes insight into how Formula One cars are designed, developed, and manufactured using the latest technologies, as well as the opportunity to meet with Aston Martin team members across departments and gain advice from them. At Base Performance the students had the opportunity to test their driving skills and get expert coaching, within a fun environment, but also to study and practice interpreting telemetry data from the simulator.
Aston Martin Formula One Team Lead Composites Engineer and Racing Pride Industry Ambassador Carys Conlon said: “It was a privilege for me to present this Award to Sheffield Formula Racing representing Aston Martin Formula One Team and Racing Pride. The Sheffield Formula Student team’s diverse representation, impactful outreach, and advocacy sets an inspiring example for how teams at all levels can support those in underrepresented, and often marginalised, communities aspiring to pursue a career in motorsport. Their progression towards a more accepting culture reflects our own efforts to promote greater diversity and belonging at AMF1. All In. All Welcome. All Celebrated.”