Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton has said that he endured racist harassment while a student in Stevenage.
In an interview with Jay Shetty for the podcast On Purpose, the seven-time Formula One champion said that he was bullied at school for being a person of color.
“School was perhaps the most traumatic and challenging experience of my life. At age six, I was already being bullied, he revealed.
“At the time, I was likely one of three students of color in that specific school, and larger, stronger bullies frequently threw me around.
“The constant jabs, the things that are either thrown at you like bananas or people who use the N-word so casually, people calling you half-cast and not knowing where you fit in was difficult for me.”
Nevertheless, despite the hardship and harassment he faced, Hamilton has embraced the experience, claiming that segregation made him stronger.
“I was placed in the lowest classes in school. Consequently, I felt as though the system was stacked against me and I was swimming against the current. But I am very thankful for that experience, as it has shaped me into the person I am today.”
Hamilton’s contract with Mercedes expires at the conclusion of the 2023 season, and Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff is optimistic that the 38-year-old will sign a new term.