Lewis Hamilton denies claims by Christian Horner that his representative inquired about a spot at Red Bull Racing during his contract negotiations with Mercedes, but admits he would be open to teaming up with Max Verstappen if the opportunity arose.
‣ A representative of Lewis Hamilton allegedly inquired at Red Bull Racing about a possible spot for Hamilton next to Max Verstappen during his contract negotiations with Mercedes.
‣ Red Bull Racing does not deny these claims, however, Hamilton denies any such inquiry was made.
‣ Hamilton admits that if the opportunity did arise to teammate Max Verstappen, he would not say no to it.
‣ Hamilton has been in contact with his team boss Toto Wolff to discuss Christian Horner’s approach.
Christian Horner, a name you might recognize, made a pretty interesting comment. Apparently, a rep for Lewis Hamilton was sniffing around Red Bull Racing during his contract talks with Mercedes. They were asking if there was a spot open next to Max Verstappen.
Red Bull Racing didn’t deny it. But Hamilton? He’s saying it’s all news to him.
“I’ve no clue where this story came from,” Hamilton told Sky Sports. “I know Christian’s the source, but I’m not sure what he’s on about. As far as I know, nobody from my team has talked to him. I haven’t chatted with Christian in years. He did reach out earlier this year about meeting up, though. That’s it. I just congratulated them on a great year and said I hope to compete against them soon. So, I’m not really sure. I think he’s just stirring the pot.”
So, would Verstappen want Hamilton on his team? The champ had something to say about that!
Hamilton had a few words for Red Bull Racing. He thinks Horner enjoys making these kinds of statements. But he’s clear on one thing: there’s been no talk of a switch. However, if the chance to team up with Verstappen came up, Hamilton wouldn’t say no. The seven-time champ admitted as much.
“I’d be more than happy to race against him in an equal car,” Hamilton said. “Red Bull’s done an amazing job. They’re an incredible team. Any driver would love to drive for them. But moving from a not-so-great car to a winning one isn’t my dream. My dream is to start where we are and build up to winning. That’s why I’ve stuck with Mercedes.”
After his Sky Sports interview, Hamilton talked to other media outlets, including GPblog. They asked him about the Red Bull situation. Again, he denied that his team had contacted Horner. “I’ve checked with everyone on the team, and no one’s spoken to them. But they have tried to reach out to us.”
So, how did the contact happen? “I found my old phone at home, switched it on, and got hundreds of messages. One of them was from Christian, asking to meet up at the end of the season.”
Hamilton discussed Horner’s approach with his team boss, Toto Wolff. “I told Toto about it, especially when the story broke. I respect Toto a lot. We have a great relationship. I wanted my team to know because people can get the wrong idea, and that’s never good. I replied to Christian on my new phone, months after he sent the message. I just said congratulations on an amazing season and that I hope to compete with him soon. He replied with the same sentiment.”
When asked if he and Horner would still meet for coffee, Hamilton said, “Probably not.” And would he dare to drive with Verstappen on the same team? “I don’t know if it’s a bond, but I’d be more than happy to race against Max in the same car. It would be wonderful. I don’t think he wants me to do it, though.”