More than 400,000 fans made the pilgrimage to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix – a record attendance – but, as the adrenaline of race day ebbs away, I'm left wondering, is Formula One a sport where everyone feels welcome?
The sport's tremendous growth in recent years has been nothing short of remarkable. Netflix's access-all-areas docuseries, Drive to Survive, coupled with a refreshing openness from teams to bring fans behind the velvet curtain and engage with them across a multitude of channels, has been the catalyst for an explosion in F1's popularity around the world.
As a product, the sport has few equals – the spectacle, the drama and the human endeavour keep us hooked – and Sunday's race was testament to that.
But, for all the fervour that surrounds F1, for all the progress the sport has made in growing its fan base, it needs to ensure that nobody is left behind.
If F1 is to be seen as a place for all, it must do all it can to be representative of society and the collective interests of everyone.
The relentless pace of the sport means moments of reflection are few and far between, but as a team and with our partners, we believe this is important to keep at the top of our agenda.
Each and every one of us is unique, but as fans of F1 we all united by our passion for the sport – nobody needs to prove that they belong. If F1 is to be seen as a place for all, it must do all it can to be representative of society and the collective interests of everyone.
Small steps in the right direction have been made, but the fact remains that if you look at F1 today, from the grandstands to the teams up and down the pitlane, it does not yet reflect the society in which we live.
There is a clear gender imbalance and an underrepresentation of ethnic minorities and people from low socio-economic backgrounds.
In turn, F1 is missing opportunities to create a truly diverse fan base and talent pool that has the power to propel the sport to new heights.
More can and must be done. At Aston Martin F1, we recognise that we don't just have an opportunity to use our platform for good, we have a responsibility to do so – to make the sport more inclusive from both a team and fan perspective.
We launched the I / AM platform upon our return to F1 last year, inviting people on our journey, to celebrate their passion and make them feel truly part of our team.
And, throughout the week of this year's British Grand Prix, we used our home race as an opportunity to share the message that no matter who you are, our team and the sport are open to all.
At Silverstone, we didn't just invite fans into our home, we made them feel at home.
We welcomed people from all over the world to our headquarters to celebrate their fandom, we collaborated with content creators, artists and photographers to capture what it means to be united by a passion for F1, and we shared fan stories to shine a light on the unique, personal journeys that shape people's affinity for the sport.
Every experience and every person we meet opens our eyes to fresh perspectives and new possibilities that can drive progress.
Our 'United by Passion' roundtable discussion brought together industry voices, sportspeople, AMF1 team members and fans to not only help us better understand how we can promote diversity and inclusion but also raise awareness of how everyone can play a part in making that happen.
The roundtable was the latest in a series of thought-provoking discussions that we've held this year.
Those that took place on International Women's Day and International Women in Engineering Day, sought to celebrate the achievements of women in motorsport, inspire women to explore careers in the industry, and raise awareness of female underrepresentation – and how we can overcome it.
Aston Martin F1 is committed to creating an environment where everyone can be their authentic selves.
Aston Martin F1 is committed to creating an environment where everyone can be their authentic selves and that includes advancing LGBTQ+ inclusion throughout motorsport.
Our voices are louder when we stand together so, during Pride Month, we worked with our partner Racing Pride to shine a light on allyship in support of the LGBTQ+ community and provided unconscious bias and allyship training to our people.
Our 'Make a Mark' programme, meanwhile, seeks to leave a lasting positive impact on the communities where we race and work; from school visits and STEM education programmes, which captivate and inspire, to post-race litter picking so we leave no negative trace.
On Friday, as teams tried to unlock the potential of their cars on the track, off it we were also working with our title partner, Cognizant, to unlock the potential of military veterans and students from low socio-economic backgrounds and open the door to careers in motorsport.
We do this because we believe that F1 needs to carefully consider the mark it's leaving on communities; travelling from circuit to circuit to put on a show for a few days is simply not enough – even if it is a show that brings so much joy to so many.
This joy was clear to see at the British Grand Prix as thousands of fans came together – all united by a passion for F1. But we must make sure the sport is one that is truly open to all and a place where everyone feels they belong.
We were humbled by the support we received at our home race; so many fans have chosen to join us on our journey, and we're committed to bringing many more along for the ride.
All in. All welcome. All celebrated.
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