Mission 44 has been created to “support, champion and empower young people from underrepresented groups in the UK” and was inspired by the recent findings of The Hamilton Commission.

Hamilton has pledged £20m of his personal wealth to support the work of the charity, including supporting organisations and programmes that narrow the gap in employment and education systems.

Mission 44 will tie its projects to three key pillars of representation, progression and empowerment.

The seven-time world champion’s brand partners and sponsors will also make contributions to further boost funds and support the foundation’s activity.

“Supporting the ambitions of underrepresented young people has always been important to me and Mission 44 represents my commitment to create real change within this community,” said Hamilton.

“In my early life, I experienced first-hand how coming from an underrepresented background can affect your future but, luckily for me, I was able to overcome those odds through opportunity and support. I want to ensure that other young people from similar backgrounds are able to do the same.”

Mercedes is also supporting Hamilton through a joint-initiative, Ignite, which will work closely with Mission 44.

Ignite will focus on improving the underrepresentation of diverse students studying STEM and engineering, as well as wider parts of the industry.

Mercedes says it aims to “deliver tangible results for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team and the wider UK motorsport industry.”

"Since we announced our intention with Lewis at the start of the year to create a joint project, a great deal of work and discussion has taken place in the background to refine our aims and our mission,” said Mercedes CEO Toto Wolff.

“Opening up motorsport and becoming a more diverse and inclusive team are fundamental to our team's values and, with the full support of Mercedes-Benz, we are committed to making a positive impact on society and building a platform from which future generations can access and enjoy our fantastic sport. 

“Ignite will complement our team's own Accelerate 25 programme, and through these platforms we hope to see much more talent from under-represented groups both join our team and take up careers in the wider motorsport industry.”

Speaking of Mercedes’ support, Hamilton added: “Mercedes have long supported my ambition to improve diversity and inclusion within the motorsport industry.

“I am so thrilled that, through Ignite, we are able to formally work together to achieve this. Diverse workforces are not only more successful but are also the morally correct approach for any industry.

“The findings of The Hamilton Commission have provided us a fantastic base to begin our work, and I am confident that Ignite will result in real, tangible change within motorsport.

“For 15 years, I have remained one of the few Black employees within Formula 1, and I am proud that my work with Mercedes is going to change that for the better."