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Lewis Hamilton was told "go back to your country" in a vile racist attack as a kid – and now vows to never end his fight for equality.
Hamilton became F1's most successful-ever driver at the weekend after winning his seventh world title, equalling Michael Schumacher, but with more race victories.
Success on the track was followed immediately by being named as the most influential black person Britain on the Powerlist 2021.
But his joy came after significant hardship in years before.
Speaking on BBC News on Thursday morning, he revealed the extent of the discrimination he faced.
Hamilton said: "There are these races where there's got to be a moment of doubt.
"For the kids out there who dream the impossible, do not give up on that dream because I am living proof that you can manifest your dreams and even the impossible ones.
"I remember as a kid adults, teachers, parents of other drivers telling me that I would not make it."
Hamilton explained that he was told: "You're not going to make it, go back to your country."
He added: "All these horrible things and I remember thinking I'm going to prove you wrong.
"The message is for all the kids out there who feel they don't have a voice and might be dreaming of something or want to dream big."
Hamilton has used his platform to fight against racial inequality this year.
He was the first driver on the F1 grid to say that he would be taking a knee pre-race in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.
He also launched the The Hamilton Commission to improve diversity in UK motorsport.
Hamilton, who is the only black driver in the sport, said: "It’s an absolute honour to be named number one on The Powerlist, I really really appreciate it. This for me is a monumental moment.
“I'm so proud to be acknowledged, especially within the black community. Everyone on this list is so inspiring and leading in their own industry, I'm honestly thrilled to be mentioned alongside them.
“I think we all have responsibility and we're trying to do our best. I like to think that I'm just a part of a chain of many people trying to push for change."
- Lewis Hamilton
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