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Lewis Hamilton: Racist Abuse, Being Bullied as a Child Was 'Most Traumatizing Period'

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 23, 2023

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 20: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes looks on ahead of the F1 2022 End of Year photo prior to the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on November 20, 2022 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Formula One star Lewis Hamilton said that his time at school was "probably the most traumatizing and most difficult part of my life" during an episode of On Purpose with Jay Shetty:

The British driver has been the target of racist attacks at numerous events during his professional career as the first Black full-time competitor in Formula One, but he said the issues started for him at a young age.

"I was already being bullied at the age of six," Hamilton said (4:57 of video). "I think at the time of that particular school, I was probably one of three kids of color, and just bigger and stronger bullying kids were throwing me around a lot of the time."

He said people used racial slurs regularly and threw bananas at him.

Hamilton also said he faced adversity from the adults around him when he was younger.

"Since I was young, since I've been told from my teachers that I would never amount to nothing," he told Shetty.

The 38-year-old has certainly become a success in his field, winning seven F1 championships and a record 103 career wins.

Hamilton has also spoken out against racism throughout his career and created the Hamilton Commission in an effort to increase diversity in motorsports.