Lewis Hamilton refutes Horner’s claims that he approached Red Bull for a seat

Lewis Hamilton refutes Horner's claims that he approached Red Bull for a seat

Lewis Hamilton has refuted the claims in response to Christian Horner’s allegations that he approached Red Bull regarding an opportunity to secure a seat with the 2023 Formula 1 Constructors’ Champions.

Lewis Hamilton maintained that Christian Horner was the one who texted him first, rejecting the Red Bull boss’ assertion that the Mercedes driver had asked about his chances of securing a seat at Red Bull earlier this year.

After the Las Vegas Grand Prix, rumors started to circulate after Red Bull team principal Horner claimed that Hamilton’s team approached him earlier in the year.

Now ahead of the F1 season finale in Abu Dhabi, Horner told the Daily Mail that Hamilton’s management had contacted Red Bull “earlier in the year,” but it didn’t seem like anything further was done.

“We have had several conversations over the years about Lewis joining,” Horner said. “They have reached out a few times.

“Most recently, earlier in the year, there was an inquiry about whether there would be any interest.

“But I can’t see Max and Lewis working out together. The dynamic wouldn’t be right. We are 100 per cent happy with what we have.”

In response, Hamilton has stated that Horner is “just stirring things” in an interview ahead of the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“No, I didn’t approach them… Christian messaged me,” said the Mercedes driver. “I’ve checked with everyone in my team, and no one has spoken to them.

“But they have tried to reach out to us.”

Hamilton went on to say that Horner had messaged him at an old number, and the Briton had only recently been able to retrieve the text.

“I picked up my old phone, which I just found at home, that had my old number on it,” he explained.

“I switched it on and obviously hundreds of messages came through and I realised there was one from Christian to get together and have a chat at the end of the season.

“I just replied to him on my new phone. It was after a weekend.

“It was quite late on that I found the message. It was from earlier on in the year. So, it was like months later.”

According to Hamilton, Horner did not indicate a reason for the pair to meet. However, in his response, he expressed appreciation for Red Bull for winning the championship and expressed confidence that Mercedes would be able to challenge its rival in 2024.

“There’s a lot of people here that like to drop my name in many conversations because they know it’s going to make waves,” Hamilton added.

“If you’re a little bit lonely and aren’t getting much attention, it’s a perfect thing to do. Just mention my name.”

Hamilton also claimed to have updated Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff on his contact with Horner.

“I did tell Toto, especially when the story broke,” he said. “Also, I wanted my team to know because people think those things and it’s never a positive.”

Since the new Formula 1 technical regulations went into effect at the beginning of the 2022 season, Red Bull has once again dominated the sport.

That subsequently followed one of the sport’s most intense and close championship battles ever, as Hamilton and Verstappen set foot in Abu Dhabi tied on points in 2021.

The race day saw Verstappen win, and ever since the Dutchman has secured a run of three consecutive drivers’ titles as Red Bull has also finished first in the constructors standings for the past two years.

On the contrary, Mercedes followed the opposite trajectory as they fell far behind the ultimate pace with a radical “zero-sidepod” design that debuted at the beginning of 2022.

Although the Brackley-based team has since dropped that approach, Hamilton has not won since the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. The team is also yet to win this season.

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