School, a hard stage
British driver Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Formula 1 world champion, has confessed that his time at school was «the most traumatic and difficult» of his life, revealing that bananas were thrown at him, he was bullied and repeatedly called «nigger».
Suffered from bullying
«When I was six years old, I was already being bullied. At that school I was one of three children of color and the older, stronger children bullied me. They were constantly hitting me, throwing things at me, like bananas, and the people who used the ‘n’ word – ‘nigger’, meaning ‘nigger’ – so quiet,» he said in the podcast ‘On Purpose’, recorded in November but released on Monday.
He didn’t know where he fit in
«People call you a mulatto and you don’t know where you fit in. It was difficult for me,» added the British Formula 1 champion.
«School was traumatizing»
Hamilton, who was born and educated in Stevenage, in the southeast of England, acknowledged that his time at school had been the «most difficult» of his life: «For me, school was the most traumatizing and difficult part of my life. At my school there were six or seven black kids out of 1,200, and three of us were locked out of the headmaster’s office all the time.»
«I felt the system was against me»
«The director had it in for us, especially me. I felt that the system was against me and that I was swimming against the current. I held back a lot of things,» he revealed.
He did not tell his parents about the abuse
In this regard, she explained that she did not tell her parents about the abuse she suffered. «I didn’t feel able to go home and tell my parents that those kids kept saying the ‘n’ word to me, or that I had been bullied or beaten up at school today, I didn’t want my father to think I wasn’t strong,» she stressed.
Mission 44 and Ignite
Hamilton remains F1’s only black driver and has created Mission 44, which aims to improve the lives of people from underrepresented groups, and Ignite, a joint venture with his Mercedes team to improve diversity and inclusion in motorsport.
«It will be hard to stop competing»
On his life after Formula 1, the Briton assured that it will be «very hard» to stop racing. «I’ve been doing it for 30 years. When you stop doing it, what’s going to be the same? Nothing is going to equal being on a circuit, being in a race, being at the top of the sport and being at the front of the grid and that thrill I get from it,» he said.
Searching for a replacement for the competition
«When I retire, there will be a big void, so I’m trying to focus and find things that can replace it and be just as rewarding,» he said. Hamilton will unveil his new Mercedes on February 15, ahead of the first test of the new season in Bahrain on March 5.