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Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton opens up about racial abuse at school

The seven-time World Champion has opened up about the alleged racial abuse he received while at school, which he described as the "most traumatising and difficult part of my life".

Hamilton Abu Dhabi
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To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Lewis Hamilton has described his school years as "the most traumatising and most difficult part" of his life, after opening up on the alleged racial abuse he received.

The seven-time Formula 1 World Champion spoke about his experience growing up to the Jay Shetty podcast and how he was bullied at the age of six years-old.

"School was probably the most traumatising and difficult part of my life," said Hamilton.

"I really was being bullied at the age of six, I think at the time at that particular school I was probably one of three kids of colour. Just bigger, stronger, bullying kids were throwing me around all the time.

"When you stand in the playground and you're in the line when they pick the teams in football, I was always the last one chosen or not even chosen, even if I was better than somebody else."

His father, Anthony Hamilton, is black and of Grenadian descent, while his mother, Carmen Larbalestier, is white British. Hamilton identifies as black, and recalled the "constant jabs" he experienced growing up in Stevenage.

He continued: "The constant jabs, the things that are thrown at you like bananas, or people that would use the 'N' word just so relaxed. People calling you 'half-caste' and just really not knowing where you fit in. That for me was difficult."

Hamilton: I didn't find out I was dyslexic until I was 16 years-old

Hamilton reflected on his experience in classrooms and how he did not realise he was dyslexic until he was 16 years-old.

"When you're in history class and everything you learn, there is no people of colour in the history that they were teaching us," he recalled.

"So I was thinking 'Oh, where are the people that look like me?' In my school there was only around seven, maybe six black kids out of 1,200 kids.

"Three of us were put outside the headmaster's office all the time. The headmaster just had it out for us and particularly for me, I would say. So I was just juggling all these different emotions I was feeling. Plus I struggled at school, I didn't find out till I was 16 that I was dyslexic.

"Fortunately I had came across a teacher that was actually caring and took me down that road and helped me discover a little bit more about myself and how I can better myself through education. But for me that was tough."

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