Formula One’s Hamilton recalls bullying, racial abuse during school years

Formula One great Lewis Hamilton experienced bullying when he was just six years old and said he had bananas thrown at him when he was racially abused at school.

The seven-time champion, who is the only black driver in F1, described his school days as extremely traumatic.

“For me, school was probably the most painful and difficult part of my life,” Hamilton said in an interview. On purpose podcast, which was released Monday. “I was already being bullied at the age of six … I think at that time, (at this particular school), I was probably one of three colored kids and the bigger, stronger, Bullying kids were throwing me into a lot of kids. Time.”

Born and educated in Stevenage, England, Hamilton described how racial abuse continued throughout his school years, leaving him feeling completely isolated and confused.

“And then the constant jabs, the things that get thrown at you, like bananas, people who will use the N-word, very casually. Hamilton, 38, told the podcast show that people half-assed you. Caste and don’t know where you fit in. “It was hard for me, and then when you go to history class and everything you learn in history there are no people of color in history that they tell us. were teaching So I was thinking, ‘Where are the people who look like me?’

Even authority figures will choose him, Hamilton said.

“Out of 1,200 children, there were only six or seven black children and three of us were kept outside the headmaster’s office at all times,” he said. “The headmaster just said it for us and especially for me that I would say.

“I was put in the lowest seats at school and told if you did well you could get promoted. They never let me get promoted, no matter how hard I tried,” Hamilton added. “I really felt like the system was against me and I was swimming against the tide.”

Hamilton said he felt the sting of withdrawal even during leisure time.

“I was always picked last, you know when you stand in a line, when they’re picking teams for football (soccer). I was always the last one picked or not picked. Even if I was better than anyone else, “he said. “Just juggling all the emotions you’re feeling, plus I struggled in school. I didn’t find out I was dyslexic until I was 16.”

Hamilton described how he pushed through his pain and put on a brave face when he got home.

“There were a lot of things that I repressed. I didn’t feel like I could go home and tell my parents that these kids were calling me the N-word today, (that) I was bullied at school today. “I didn’t want my father to think that I wasn’t strong and that if I had tears, I would have held them back. If I had emotions, it would have been someone else’s.” In a quiet place. It wasn’t really until I started racing that I was able to channel the emotion I put into my driving.

Hamilton is the F1 record holder with 103 Grand Prix wins and 103 pole positions, and shares the record for most F1 titles with fellow great Michael Schumacher. The Mercedes star, who did not win a grand prix last season, begins his quest for an eighth F1 title when the season opens in Bahrain on March 5.

In recent years, Hamilton has kept himself away from the track. campaigning relentlessly to fight racism. And Urging others to speak up more in F1.

Founded by Hamilton. “Hamilton Commission” To improve F1’s diversity, more has been done. Expressing views on human rights violations In countries where F1 races.

Last year, Hamilton said Primitive mentality He had to be replaced after retired champion Nelson Piquet allegedly used a racial slur against him.

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