Mansell: Hamilton is 'manufactured' Former World Champion Nigel Mansell has described McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton as being "manufactured". Mansell, who won his sole World title with Williams in 1992, is worried by the current trend within the sport of teams signing up promising youngsters on long-term contracts to guide them on the staircase to Formula One.
During his career Mansell was forced to sell most of his personal belongings as he struggled to find the money to support his racing, and he admits to feeling uneasy at the way Hamilton was backed by McLaren from his karting career through to his 2008 World title triumph and beyond.
Speaking at the Hay Festival, Mansell said: "I think sometimes it all becomes too easy. 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'.
"How many people from seven years of age have been given £2.5million to go karting?
"I know drivers now are being signed up at seven, eight, nine years of age. They're all being picked now, and this is the incredible thing that is so disappointing for me, to be Grand Prix drivers in five and seven and 10 years' time, and that negates everybody out there now doing the job, and that is frightening.
"I don't decry what Lewis has done, when he initially started having tough times he didn't handle it very well, but that's the first time ever in his life he's had a tough time."
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