Lewis Hamilton opens up about pain of racial abuse at school

Lewis Hamilton has spoken about how he had bananas thrown at him and was repeatedly called the N-word during a “traumatising” school career.

The seven-time Formula One world champion, who grew up in a town near London, detailed the racial abuse in the On Purpose podcast, released on Monday.

The 38-year-old, who is preparing for his 17th season in F1, said: “For me, school was the most traumatising and most difficult part of my life.

“I was already being bullied at the age of six. At that particular school I was one of three kids of colour and just bigger, stronger, bullying kids were throwing me around a lot of the time.

“And 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 and not knowing where you fit in. That for me was difficult.

“In my (secondary) school there were six or seven black kids out of 1,200 kids and three of us were put outside the headmasters’ office all the time.”

The British driver said he felt the system was against him, adding that he suppressed “a lot of things”.

“I didn’t feel I could go home and tell my parents that these kids kept calling me the N-word, or I got bullied or beaten up at school today,” he said. “I didn’t want my dad to think I was not strong.”

Hamilton remains F1’s only black driver. He has established Mission 44, which aims to enhance the lives of people from under-represented groups, and Ignite, a joint enterprise with his Mercedes team to improve diversity in motor racing.

The British driver, who finished sixth in the 2022 standings, is entering the final year of his huge deal with Mercedes but it is anticipated that he will sign a new multi-year contract.

Looking ahead to life after F1, Hamilton added in the podcast, which was recorded in November: “It is going to be really, really hard when I stop racing. I have been doing it for 30 years. When you stop, what is going to match that?

“Nothing is going to match being in a stadium, being at a race, being at the pinnacle of the sport and being at the front of the grid or coming through the grid and that emotion that I get with that.

“When I do stop there will be a big hole so I am trying to focus and find things that can replace that and be just as rewarding.”

Hamilton will unveil his new Mercedes at the team’s launch at Silverstone on February 15 ahead of the first round of the new season in Bahrain on March 5.

 

AM Live

AM Live is NTV's morning current affairs show that sets the agenda for the day with insightful panels every weekday.

Business Redefined

Business Redefined is Kenya’s premier thought leadership platform for unpacking matters regarding economic and finance policy as well demystifying complex developments in the region’s capital markets.

Daily Politics

This is Daily Politics. Here we look into the ins and outs of everything Kenyan politics. We pull no punches and have no reason to sugarcoat anything that matters to Kenyans.

Entertainment

A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula

Full Episodes

A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula

Gumzo La Sato

Gumzo La Sato is a live social issues show that aims to create awareness about issues affecting the larger society. The discussions range from Parenting, Marital bliss and struggles, Oppression, violence, and all matters of the Heart.

Health Diary

Health Diary is a weekly show that highlights different types of diseases/conditions and seeks ways to prevent, treat/manage them. The show debunks this through real life stories and also feature specialists in different fields, to offer medical advice on the same.

Letter To My Younger Self

Letter To My Younger Self is a podcast where guests get to write a letter to their younger self, from which Maxine formulates questions to ask them during the hour-long show.

Mazao Talks

Mazao looks at agriculture and agribusiness

Nation Reports

Nation Reports is a weekly podcast offers an opportunity for listeners to interact with various reporters and journey with them as they unravel the biggest most emotive stories.

Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost peeks through the story of Louis Otieno, the times, and everything in between.

Podcasts

Podcasts

SportOn

Sport-On is a 30-minute sports magazine show on NTV and 3 hours on NATION FM. The show seeks to give the sports “fanatics” and “funatics” comprehensive and in-depth coverage of sports both locally and internationally.

Thamani

Thamani is a business show which is dedicated to emerging issues regarding micro, small and medium size businesses.

The Trend

A two-hour-long live show that airs on Fridays. The show focuses on what is current in the entertainment industry, controversial and popular across all media platforms targeting those aged between 25 and 35 years.

The Wicked Edition

The Wicked Edition with Dr. King’ori seeks to address serious issues through humour and relatable wit. It is a two-part half hour show filmed in front of a live audience

Trending

A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula

Twende

Twende is a travel show that highlights beautiful, unique, diverse locations, people, and cultures. The show offers fresh perspectives on familiar locations and memorable experiences in new ones.

Unscripted

This Saturday evening lifestyle show lets viewers share their stories and life experiences as openly & honestly for the purpose of shifting the culture of silence.

WADR

This weekly news show aims to have all sides of debate but not be constrained by it, listen to main voices in the contest but not allow them to hold the viewers hostage, entertain debate but allow push back with all due respect.

When death do us part

In this podcast, three widowers openly speak about the process of grief, how they found themselves exposed to the emotional turmoil of losing their wives, and how society still does not know how to deal with them.

Your World

Your World is a health, wellness and variety show. It provides a platform for audiences and experts to share their experiences on how to improve or manage health issues, across Kenya and the Africa region.