Lewis Hamilton: I did not approach ‘lonely’ Christian Horner about Red Bull move

By Sports Desk November 23, 2023

Lewis Hamilton has denied seeking a blockbuster move to Red Bull – and claimed it was instead Christian Horner who approached him.

Hamilton accused Horner of being “lonely” and “stirring” the pot, following the Red Bull team principal’s claim ahead of this weekend’s season finale in Abu Dhabi that the British driver’s camp inquired about a seat alongside Max Verstappen at the grid’s all-conquering team.

A front-footed Hamilton, who signed a two-year contract extension to remain at Mercedes until the end of 2025 in August, also said Verstappen would not want him as a team-mate.

Asked if he approached Red Bull about joining them, Hamilton, 38, replied: “No. I did not.

“I have checked with everyone in my team and nobody has spoken to them. However, he (Horner) did reach out to me earlier on in the year about meeting up.

“I picked up my old phone which I found at home. It has my old number. I switched it on, and hundreds of messages came through, and one was from Christian to get together and have a catch-up at the end of the season.

“He didn’t say (it was about driving for them). He just said about having a catch-up.

“I replied to him (Horner) on my new phone. It was quite late on that I found his message. It was from earlier on in the year, and it was months later (that I replied).

“I just said, ‘congratulations on the amazing season and I hope we are able to compete with you soon’, and he replied repeating the same thing.

“If you really think about it, there are a lot of people here that like to drop my name in conversations because they know it will make waves and if you are a little bit lonely, and are not getting much attention, that is the perfect thing to do, just to mention my name. He is stirring things.”

Hamilton is set to bring the curtain down on a second winless season. Verstappen has won the last three world championships and heads into the final round with a remarkable 18 wins from 21. Hamilton has described the Dutchman’s machine as the fastest ever seen in Formula One.

“I would be more than happy to race against Max in the same car,” added Hamilton. “That would be wonderful. But I don’t think he wants me to be his team-mate.”

Hamilton has been with Mercedes since 2013, and has said on numerous occasions that he could not envisage being at another team.

He continued: “I have so much respect for (team principal) Toto (Wolff).

“We have a great relationship. And I spoke to him when the story broke. I wanted my team to know because if people think those things (about leaving) it is never positive. Hopefully signing with them has shown my commitment to the team.

“Let’s be realistic, every single driver here dreams of being in a winning car. In my younger days, when I had not had a lot of success, joining Red Bull would have been more attractive to me.

“We have had two really difficult years, and if we were able to beat that Red Bull, that would be a way better feeling than just stepping into the best car.

“That wouldn’t do much for me – stepping into a car that has been the most dominant of all time – but working with my team to beat them. That would be better for my legacy.”

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    An F1 spokesperson said: “We have noted that Red Bull has instigated an independent investigation into internal allegations at Red Bull Racing.

    “We hope that the matter will be clarified at the earliest opportunity, after a fair and thorough process, and we will not comment further at this time.”

    Last season Red Bull won all but one of the 22 races, with Max Verstappen taking his third world championship in as many years.

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