Lewis Hamilton says he was bullied at school and repeatedly called the N-word.
The Formula 1 legend is one of the most decorated drivers to have ever got behind the wheel, winning seven championships during his career.
But looking back on his childhood, the 38-year-old, who grew up in Stevenage, says life was incredibly tough.
The F1 icon said: “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 was difficult."
Hamilton went on to say that the racism continued into his secondary education, with him and other black pupils being picked on by staff and other children.
“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 headmaster just had it out for us – and particularly me. I felt the system was up against me and I was swimming against the tide.
"There were a lot of things I suppressed. 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, I didn’t want my dad to think I was not strong."
And with the start of the new F1 season fast approaching, Hamilton also opened up about his future.
He admitted that he's going to find it difficult to move one once he steps away from the sport.
"It is going to be really, really hard when I stop racing," he said.
"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."
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