“I have been bullied since I was six years old”

A lifetime in Mercedes. Lewis Hamilton celebrates ten years within the team of the silver arrows. A decade that the factory itself wanted to remember, full of many successes, with up to eight crowns for the Germans and seven on his own marker. All thanks to the effort, perseverance, teamwork and, above all, the talent of the British. But there have not always been good times. If we think about failure, the end of the 2021 season may come to mind for many because of its proximity, or even a 2022 void of victories, but for Sir Hamilton, his worst memories lie in his childhood. When innocence was at its best.

The Mercedes driver himself is the one who remembers his toughest moments. Personal experiences of his childhood that turned out to be traumatic and, which, have forged his current strength and his desire to always help the most disadvantaged, with multiple struggles that he carries as a flag within the paddock of Formula 1, wherever they travel. “I suffered bullying since I was six years old. I think that at that time and in that school I was one of the only three colored children and other boys older than me constantly scolded me. There were many things that I suppressed. I just couldn’t bring myself to go home and tell my parents, I didn’t want them to think I wasn’t strong. So if she had tears, she held them back. If she expressed my emotions, it would be in a quiet place. It really wasn’t until I started competing that I channeled the emotions I had into the way I was driving, ”reveals Hamilton about what, he says, were the “most traumatic and difficult” events of his life. “Constant hits, things that were thrown at you like bananas, people who used the ‘n’ word… so calm. People called me ‘half-breed’. I didn’t know where to fit in and it was difficult”, he adds.

But, without a doubt, the most terrifying thing turned out to be the great revelation of the British: the teachers, far from stopping the racist behavior of their classmates, participated in public humiliations. “The director of the school had a thing for us, and I would say that especially for me. The teachers told me: ‘You will never be anything’. I remember being behind the shed, crying, as if to say: ‘I’m not going to be anything.’ And believing it for a moment, ”the driver confesses that, at 38, he is one world title away from being the greatest driver of all time in F1. He suffered for years but, over time, managed to turn the situation around and the bullying turned him into a force to get ahead and show everyone that his future would indeed be full of successes: “I felt that the system was against me and I was swimming against the current. But I’m very grateful for that trip, because it’s what made me the person I am today.”

fear of withdrawal

It turns out to be a recurring rumor every winter. At 38 years old, Lewis Hamilton faces the 2023 season as the last of his current contract. Many are talking about a renewal that has not yet been put on the table, but that both parties will undoubtedly have to talk about. Meanwhile, the Mercedes driver wants to redeem himself and return to the top of Formula 1. And, despite the fact that no one who has exceeded 300 Grand Prix has won again, the british wants to be the exception that breaks the curse. But he does not deny that he is thinking of withdrawing and, far from being something he expects in the short term, seems to be something he fears.

“I have spoken with many people who are active and retired, and many tell me that when they retire, everything falls apart, as if they had nothing to lean on and hadn’t figured out what they’re going to do next,” he reveals in the same podcast. “So they face an emotional journey of discovery and It takes time. I try to learn from these things, apply them and find other things that I am passionate about”, explains Sir Hamilton, who is also already thinking about his plans for the future: “I have many things in the pipeline and that when I leave it I will be very grateful to Formula 1, but I will have something better ”. And it is that a world champion is difficult to stop his feet.

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