1992 title winner Mansell is quoted as criticising the fact that some drivers like Hamilton are backed as karters from a young age, disadvantaging those who cannot secure such lucrative support.
“How many people from seven years of age have been given 2.5 million pounds to go karting?” he said.
Mansell, 56, also said Hamilton “didn’t handle” the tough times in his F1 career so far because it was “the first time ever in his life he’s had a tough time”.
After qualifying on the front row in Turkey, three tenths faster than his teammate and reigning world champion Jenson Button, Hamilton was unimpressed when he heard about Mansell’s comments.
“Clearly Nigel either has not been reading the right stories or he has not got his facts right,” said the McLaren driver.
“I was not signed up until I was 13 so I would love to see where the rest of that money was since I was seven,” added Hamilton, insisting that until he was signed by McLaren, his parents did it tough financially.
“I wouldn’t have expected that from him but that’s the way it is.”
And team boss Martin Whitmarsh added: “I just hope that Nigel is being misquoted. It often happens apparently.”