Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has denied that he or his representatives approached Red Bull about getting a drive with the Austrian Formula One team.
In an interview with a British daily this week, Red Bull sporting director Christian Horner said Hamilton representatives had inquired earlier this year about the team’s interest in securing his services. .
Hamilton signed a two-year contract with Mercedes at the end of August, tying him to the German team until 2025. He responded to questions for this article on Thursday by mentioning that neither he nor his representatives had contacted Horner. “I never approached Christian. I haven’t spoken to Christian in years, and neither have my team, talking about Hamilton on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. I asked everyone around me, and no one on my team contacted him. However, he contacted me so we could talk at the end of the campaign. »
Hamilton, who has won seven career F1 world championship titles, said he found a message from Horner in one of his old cell phones asking for a meeting. “I opened it and sure enough, hundreds of messages popped up and I realized there was one in there from Christian [demandant] that we meet and discuss at the end of the campaign, said the Briton. It took a while before I received the message; he had been left very early in the year. It’s been several months. I simply replied, “Congratulations on an amazing season and I hope we can compete against you soon,” and Horner responded by repeating the same thing to me. »
Red Bull has pulverized the competition in the last two campaigns, and Max Verstappen took the opportunity to win his second and third world championship titles. Mercedes has not won a race this season and had just one victory last year – thanks to George Russell.
Verstappen has dominated the championship even more than last year and, heading into the final Grand Prix of the season in Abu Dhabi, the 26-year-old Dutchman will covet a 19e victory in 2023 — which would allow it to further expand its own brand in this regard.
Verstappen was asked on Thursday whether he would like to have Hamilton as a teammate. “What would that change? It will not arrive. There’s no point looking for stories where there aren’t any, he said. I wouldn’t mind, it wouldn’t matter, anyone [peut être mon coéquipier]. I’m not necessarily referring to Lewis; there are so many great drivers in this series. »
Hamilton has recorded a total of 103 career victories, but could be shut out for a second straight season if he fails to win on Sunday in Abu Dhabi.
“I would have preferred that we weren’t in the position we are in,” Hamilton agreed. But I guess that means we have to work harder this weekend and I can’t wait to be able to fight my battles on the track. »