Hamilton: "I could be Superman under that helmet if I wanted to be"
Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton has opened up about his difficult life at school, telling the story of how motorsport gave him the confidence to stand up against bullies.
When asked in a Mercedes video interview whether he ever doubted his ability behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car, Hamilton replied simply, "No."
This was no shock as, with six world titles to his name, there is little to doubt, but then Hamilton continued talking.
"It’s really strange," said Hamilton. "Naturally, I have that question and sometimes that feeling with other things. I’m not always the most positive person.
"I try everything, but there are things you try and you keep failing and you’re like, ‘dang, I suck’, and I can be really negative for a moment and I’m like ‘no, keep going, keep going’.
"I still have the willpower to get past that wall that hits me in the face, but when it comes to driving, no.
"I literally – I’ve done it my whole life, and that’s the thing that has given me so much confidence. I get in this car, I put the helmet on and I’m able to be whoever I want to be. I could be Superman under that helmet if I wanted to be.
"Generally, when I was at school – I was bullied at school. I was the little kid and was bullied on by the bigger kids, so I was very much within my cocoon or my own little space. It was very quiet, but when I get in the car, I’m able to put out my own elbows and stand up for myself.
"Eventually I got confidence and was able to help stand up for others that were getting bullied at school.
"Because I went to karate and got a black belt, I could whoop someone’s butt, which was amazing."
Usually more of a closed book than some of his rivals, Hamilton's comments saw the Mercedes driver drop the corporate barriers that are so often present in modern F1 and relay a truly human story of his past.
Returning to personal doubts of his ability in the car, Hamilton added: "I think there was one moment a long, long time ago when I was in Formula Renault, but I got up and went for a 14-mile run the next day and it passed."
He is a man of my own heart. Against all odds and still triumph. He is an inspiration for others. May he continue his journey with the blessings of the Most High, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, under the watchful eyes of the Messiah.
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