ISTANBUL May 29 Lewis Hamilton told
fellow-Briton Nigel Mansell to get his facts straight on
Saturday after being branded 'manufactured' by the former
Formula One world champion.
Speaking to an audience at Britain's Hay literary festival
on Friday, Mansell suggested the McLaren driver had enjoyed an
easy path to the sport after securing backing from McLaren at an
"People have said to me 'what do I think of Lewis Hamilton?'
and I've said 'Well it's fantastic what he's achieved but he's
been manufactured'," the 1992 champion, who had to fund his own
way into racing, was quoted as saying.
"How many people from seven years of age have been given two
and a half million (pounds) to go karting?"
Hamilton, questioned about the comments after qualifying on
the front row at the Turkish Grand Prix, was visibly taken
"Wow," gasped the 25-year-old, who became Formula One's
youngest champion in 2008. "Clearly he has not been reading the
right stories or he just has not got his facts right.
"I wasn't signed up until I was 13, so I would love to see
where the rest of that money was since I was seven.
"I just think he is clearly ill-informed and doesn't have
the right information," added the Briton.
"He has his right to his own opinion, which doesn't really
bother me. I don't really care about his opinion.
"He is a world champion, he was a great star and I look up
to him, but I wouldn't have expected that from him."
Hamilton, who will be chasing his first win of the season on
Sunday, made a sensational debut in the sport in 2007 after
being brought up through the junior categories by McLaren.
The first black world champion, he emerged from a family
with no motor racing pedigree, His parents divorced when he was
two, the father holding down multiple jobs to keep the family
afloat while his mother worked in a care home.
His grandfather emigrated from the West Indies and worked on
the London Underground system.
"I don't know how he (Mansell) was funded when he was
younger, but for us it was virtually impossible to find money.
It got more and more expensive," said Hamilton.
"My parents paid all the way until I was 13, by
re-mortgaging the house. They were broke."
(Editing by Justin Palmer
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