Hamilton opens up on how racing became his Superpower during difficult times in life
by SOURAV D | VIEW 397
Lewis Hamilton, the seven-time world champion had recently opened up on how racing had become an integral part of his life. Speaking in the “On Purpose with Jay Shetty” Podcast, Hamilton had reflected over his life and career.
Hamilton opens up on challenges that he had to face
Besides, the 37-year-old who is expected to return as a strong title contender this season, had shared a swathe of challenges what he had to face throughout his life.
Speaking in the podcast, the winner of the world’s highest number of F1 trophies alongside podium-finishes, said, “I was already being bullied at the age of six. I think at the time, that particular school, I was probably one of three kids of colour.
Bigger, stronger, bullying kids were throwing me around a lot of the time. hen the constant jabs, the things that are either thrown at you like bananas, or people that would use the n-word, just so relaxed... people calling you half caste.
Just really not knowing where you fit in… that, for me, was difficult. When you then go into history class and everything you learn… there were no people of colour in the history that they were teaching us, so I was thinking, ‘Where are the people that looked like me? In [secondary] school, I think there were only around six, seven black kids out of 1,200 kids, and 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. Plus, I struggled at school. I didn’t find out until I was 16 that I was dyslexic. Fortunately, I came across a teacher that was actually caring, took me down that road and helped me discover a little bit more about myself, and how I can better myself through education.
It wasn’t really until I started racing that I was able to channel this emotion that I had into my driving. Superman was my favourite; he was a really inspiring character for me. Again, no superhero was of colour, but you can still aspire to be like someone if they don’t look like you.
I remember going to karate and putting this helmet on in racing and it felt like it was my cloak... my superpowers would come out when I was driving. I was battling with these kids and I was able to do things that they seemed to not be able to do as well.
“When I do stop [racing], there will be a big hole, so I’m trying to generally find things that are going to replace that, that are going to be just as rewarding.
That’s Mission 44, meeting kids at schools, having these conversations with families and parents who are clearly going through difficult times and want to create the best opportunity for their kids. [I want to] encourage them: ‘It’s ok, I’ve been there too, look where I got, so you can get there.’ For me, that’s way more rewarding than winning a race – so much more,” added Hamilton.